2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alex Leatherwood

Alex Leatherwood Scouting Report

A long term fixture on the Alabama offensive line, Alex Leatherwood enters the NFL. Likely being selected on day two, dive into the Alex Leatherwood Scouting Report below to see his strengths, weaknesses and overall assessment below.

School: Alabama / Position: OT / Height: 6’6” / Weight: 312 / Class: Sr.

Games Watched: Notre Dame (2020), Auburn (2020), Ohio State (2020)

Pass Blocking: 

As a pass blocker, Leatherwood almost had two different assignments while in school. While protecting for Tua two years ago, he was essentially a RT since he was protecting for a left handed quarterback. However, when blocking for Mac Jones, he was a blindside protector. While the jobs are essentially the same, the role of blindside protector does indeed carry more weight. His biggest struggle is his inability to consistently get his hands on defenders before they get theirs on him. Struggles to gain enough depth as well at times and is not someone I would want operating out of a vertical set very often. Best suited for a 45 degree set where he can use his strength and aggressiveness. 

Run Blocking:  

A fantastic run blocker. He did not get many opportunities to attempt reach or pull blocks at Alabama but I believe he could do this effectively. He is a powerful player who can consistently move players off of their spot and eliminate them from the play and does a great job of getting his massive frame in favorable positions as well. Really enjoys this aspect of the game and dominates it with his aggressive play style. 

Athleticism:

Not an incredible athlete and it shows when he has to recover when beaten on pass sets but he moves well for his size and on the occasions he was asked to move up and down the line of scrimmage he did so efficiently. 

Strength:

At 6’6” and 312 pounds he is a monster who few players can match up against. Easily moves people in the run game and almost never loses to a power rush in pass protection. This will translate to the NFL very easily and fluidly. Incredibly strong and powerful hands that, when aimed correctly, almost always win him the rep. 

Second Level: 

For whatever reason at Alabama, he was not asked to do this very much. He has enough athletic ability to do this and should be asked to do so more in the NFL. 

Anchor: 

Not elite in this aspect, but not terrible either. The biggest worry I have with him here is when he is not able to get his hands into the right spot or attack first, he gets moved backwards relatively easily. He is able to catch himself and regain control at the collegiate level, but will this come as easy in the NFL? Speedier rushers also give him fits in this area due to his lack of reactive quickness. 

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Hand Usage:

The worst part of his game in my opinion is his hand placement. He consistently struggles to get his hands on the defender first and it shows when he is going against other long armed pass rushers. If he can cultivate this aspect of his game he will take massive steps forward as a player. He does however have strong, vise grip like hands that allow him to dominate at the point of attack in the run game. 

Recovery: 

Leatherwood does this aspect of the position at an okay level. His best trait here is that he is very much able to regain his balance and get back into his pass set against power rushers. When beat around the edge with speed, he loses the rep as he cannot recover in time to re engage in the pass set. 

Aggressiveness: 

An aggressive, physical player. Leatherwood can bully people on accident due to his size and willingness to attack defenders. This is most prevalent in the run game as he moves defenders with a purpose. An easily translatable trait to the next level. 

Footwork: 

For a player of his size he really has great, fast footwork. His initial kick step is really good but the rest of his kick slide is what holds him back in this area. As a result, Leatherwood is not a player I would like to see in a vertical set often.  He has good feet in the run game as well and can easily put himself in good positions in the run game. 

Assessment:

Leatherwood is a very talented and well built player with ample experience at the college level. The biggest worries with Leatherwood come in his lack of overall athletic ability and poor hand usage. At this point, he is what he is as an athlete. While suboptimal in this area, he can overcome this with great technique. If he can become better with his hand placement, he will almost certainly become a long term starter in the NFL at right tackle. I would be more than happy to get my hands on him during day two as I believe, at worst, he is a solid guard for an NFL team. 

Grade: Third Round

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