The Las Vegas Raiders must get it right up front along the offensive line, and right tackle Alex Leatherwood is key to their success in 2022.
During the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Alex Leatherwood, a big offensive tackle from the University of Alabama. At the time, the pick was seen as another head-scratcher, as many had Leatherwood as a Day 2 pick, this after struggling a lot during his time with the Crimson Tide.
Still, he was the pick, and immediately was inserted as the team’s right tackle, much like Jon Gruden and his staff did to Kolton Miller on the left side a few years earlier. What ensued was a terrible rookie season, one that saw Leatherwood finally get kicked inside to offensive guard, and putting a huge question mark as to what his future could hold with the organization.
So far, with a new regime in place, it looks like the plan is to bring Leatherwood back as the starting right tackle, and for better or worse, the likelihood is that he starts Week 1 in that spot. Of course, he has to win the job in camp, but he looks to be in great shape, making him a key for this Raiders offense in 2022.
Offensive Line play the key for this Raiders offense
There are a lot of expectations on the Raiders going into the 2022 season, especially with the franchise bringing in elite talent like Chandler Jones and Davante Adams this offseason. The combination of Adams and Hunter Renfrow at wide receiver is as good as it gets at the NFL level, and when you add in an elite tight end like Darren Waller, there are no ends to the possibilities in the passing game.
All the team needs now is for one of the worst offensive lines last season to take a big step forward, and that is paramount when it comes to Leatherwood as well. If he succeeds, look out.
The Las Vegas Raiders should be a much-improved team on defense in 2022, and Rock Ya-Sin may be the biggest addition to the unit.
The truth is, Leatherwood, succeeding in Year 2 is not only good for the 2022 Raiders, but it sets the franchise up for the long haul at both offensive tackle positions. Leatherwood has the size and strength to be a dominating player at the NFL level, and if he can figure it out this summer, the Raiders are in great shape moving forward.