LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Raiders had a clear need on the offensive line after losing three starters from last year's team. Drafting Alex Leatherwood in the first round clearly addresses that need.
In the offseason, the Raiders traded tackle Trent Brown and center Rodney Hudson and let go of guard Gabe Jackson, leaving a rather large hole on their offensive line -- which brings us to Alex Leatherwood.
Leatherwood could've been drafted last year but chose to come back to Alabama for his senior year.
That decision paid off with a national championship and the Outland Trophy, meaning he was named the nation's best interior lineman.
With all that experience in college, Leatherwood should be ready to step in as a starter for the Raiders on day one.
He played left tackle in college but the Raiders like their current left tackle Colton Miller, so Leatherwood will likely switch to the right side as a rookie for the Raiders.
Some may say the Raiders reached a little on this pick. Many of the pundits predicted Leatherwood would be drafted in the second round, but he was arguably the best offensive lineman in the country last year and should provide plenty of protection for Derek Carr's front side.
Look for the Raiders to address some needs on defense with their next few picks.