Las Vegas Raiders: Biggest draft misses in the past five NFL Drafts

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Las Vegas Raiders: Biggest draft misses in the past five NFL Drafts

  • 2021: Raiders make head-scratching selection of Alex Leatherwood on Day 1

The run of Mike Mayock as the Raiders general manager is full of first-round surprises, and his final first-round gaff came in the person of Alex Leatherwood. Sure, the Raiders had their issues at offensive tackle outside of Kolton Miller, but not many experts saw Leatherwood as a first-round talent, and he certainly proved them right during his time in Las Vegas.

Leatherwood would last only one season with the Raiders, starting at offensive tackle and then getting moved inside to play offensive guard. He was released by the team in August of 2022 after starting all 17 games as a rookie, a sign that the new regime was not interested in giving him a chance to turn his career around in Las Vegas.

Leatherwood was the No. 17 overall pick that year, and to make matters worse, the player selected at No. 23, Christian Darrisaw, is now considered one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL.

The Raiders had a combined six first-round picks across the 2019 and 2021 NFL Drafts, and only Jacobs would end up being a cornerstone player. That is the legacy of Mayock and Gruden when it comes to the NFL Draft, because even with them hitting home runs with Madd Maxx and Renfrow on Day 3 in 2019, their misses far outweighed their hits.