OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (6’6”, 312)

Background:

Was one of the top recruits in the country, then rotated into the offense a little bit over seven games as a true freshman. Started all fifteen games the following year after sliding to right guard, then started all thirteen games at left tackle the following year. Came back to school and reprised his role as a senior, finishing with forty-one straight starts to close out his career.

Positives:

Mammoth offensive tackle who really looks the part. Comes with two years of starting experience at left tackle at a major program, plus one year of experience at guard. Was often trusted to protect the edge by himself on passing downs. Initial form looks pretty good in pass protection; bends at the knees, gets into his seat, and maintains a solid base. Does a good job of extending his arms into opponents. Difficult to get around because of his bulk, width, and length. Anchors against power with ease and is capable of winning ugly. Physical and aggressive in the run game. Explosive out of his stance to win on first contact and put defenders on their heels. Capable of overpowering defensive ends and sealing them inside. Does a good job of maintaining leg drive after contact. Works hard to get out in front and stick with opponents in space.

Negatives:

Despite his size, can struggle to play within his frame. Gets too aggressive and ends up lunging, bending at the waist, and slipping to the ground too often. Lets too many defenders into his pads. Would like to see him keep his hands higher more consistently, and reset them more accurately. Hands find their way outside too often and could be penalty-prone at the next level. Overall athleticism is just average. Can sometimes struggle to win the edge against explosive speed rushers while maintaining his pass set. More of an obstruction to work around than someone who consistently engages successfully in space.

Summary:

Absolutely looks the part of a pro offensive tackle and offers the physicality, aggression, and natural power to attract teams, but is not the most fluid, flexible, or consistent on a snap-to-snap basis. Might need to slide over to right tackle or possibly even inside, where his physical and athletic traits may be more suited. As an experienced player coming from a major program in which he racked up over forty starts, would like to see more polish. Nonetheless, looks likely to come off the board by the end of the second round. Best suited to an inline blocking scheme.

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