22 Oct 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Summer Scouting Notes: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Photo Courtesy of RollTide.com

Senior | 6’5″, 310 | January 5, 1999 | Pensacola, FL

An old school run blocking lineman with good length, insincts, and impressive strength.

Many people had Leatherwood going in the first two rounds of the 2020 draft, but he had other plans. The former Under Armour All-American decided that he would return to Tuscaloosa in order to graduate and prepare for life after football, as well as make one last attempt for a CFP National Championship. As one of the top returning run blockers in the country, there are a lot of expectaions for Leatherwood to live up to for the Crimson Tide.

Strengths:

  • Athletic for his size
  • Good first step
  • Zone Blocking Instincts
  • Anchor Strength
  • Getting to the second level
  • Drive/Finish
  • Pad Level while run blocking
  • Controlled kick steps in pass pro
  • Picks up stunts well
  • Handling power moves

Areas To Improve:

  • Initial Punch: accuracy and timing or will just use a forearm instead
  • Tendancy to lean on defenders
  • Wide Hands: often allows hands to drift to shoulders
  • Will occasionally get too much width instead of depth in pass pro
  • Can be susceptible to counter moves

Way Too Early Projection:

Leatherwood has the raw athletic ability to be a real contributor at the NFL level, but that contribution will be on the right side or the interior of the line. He is a decidedly better blocker in the run game than he is in pass protection, and while he is not a pass blocking liability, he is not a player who can consistently play on the blindside. He is at this moment an early Day 2 pick, but he has the chance to become a mid to late Day 1 pick in 2021 by putting out a good season for the Crimson Tide in 2020.

What To Watch For:

Leatherwood played on the left side in 2019 because 10th overall pick Jedrick Wills Jr. was playing on the blindside for the left handed Tua Tagovailoa. Look to see if he remains there with a right handed Mac Jones under center in 2020, or if Nick Saban moves him over to the right side. He will more than likely remain on the left due to his veteran status on the Alabama line, but will need to improve his pass blocking regardless of which side he is on. Look for him to improve his punch and hand placement, which could help to counter his tendency to lean if he can consistently land a solid first strike.

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