The Las Vegas Raiders solidified their offensive line by picking Alabama's Alex Leatherwood with the 17th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The national champion brings an aggressiveness that the Raiders were sorely lacking last season. Jon Gruden and his team will be hoping that Leatherwood will be able to give QB Derek Carr more time to throw down the field.
The giant OL can also play guard and tackle, so he brings versatility to the Las Vegas franchise.
How will Alex Leatherwood help the Raiders in his rookie year?
The Raiders started last season well but faded down the stretch. One of their big issues was Derek Carr not being able to throw the deep ball to their speedy wide receivers.
They will be counting on Leatherwood to immediately make a difference to their pass blocking. The fact he can play multiple positions can only help him win a starting role.
Leatherwood is a winner coming from the famous Alabama program, something the Raiders squad is missing.
Prediction on how his first season will go with the Raiders?
Alex Leatherwood was drafted as a future rock for the Raiders' offensive line. First they will need to decide which position fits him best in the NFL.
Whether it's at guard or tackle, the faster they work this out, the faster he can settle into his NFL career. There are fears that the Raiders may find themselves using him to plug gaps when needed to the detriment of his long-term future.
As with all offensive linemen, Man Mountain will hope he can avoid serious injuries in his rookie year. While the future looks bright for Leatherwood, his debut season will probably be full of hard knocks and tough challenges.