Dallas Cowboys in Round 2
Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
I was hoping a better tackle than Alex Leatherwood would appear at 44. (In all likelihood, someone does) Leatherwood stands at a healthy 6-foot-5, 312 pounds with 34 3/8 inch arms. His body is incredibly well put together and it is evident just how strong he is when he is run blocking. Leatherwood has some of the best measurables in the draft, but his usage of hands and agility in pass protection seemingly make him a lesser sought-after commodity than several other tackles that could hear their name on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Under his offensive coordinator, Leatherwood was asked to block gap and zone blocks. He displays the football IQ to identify his assignments pre-snap and communicate with his offensive line on double teams and combo blocks. A really smart run blocker, his play strength allows him to drive and steers edge and interior defenders away from the ball carrier even if his hands aren’t always in the correct place.
In pass protection, Leatherwood is solid. His solid athletic ability does allow him to reach his set points on time and maintain half-man relationships with his defender, but his adequate agility can cause him to get beat with good upfield burst on speed rushes or on counter moves, also in large part because he is late and inconsistent with his punch timing and location.
Leatherwood’s concerns are technical and are deemed fixable, but it does seem odd that after electing to come back for another season he didn’t improve all that much especially with some of the best coaches in college football?
It will be hard for teams to pass up on such an athletic prospect with the hopes of turning him into a starting blind-side tackle in the league, the risk with this is can teams figure break his bad habits that have plagued for years.