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Making a Move for the former Alabama Tackle | Washington Commanders

By Adam Aniba

Heading into the regular season, one of the biggest concerns among Washington fans is the overall depth and talent level along the O-Line.

An intriguing free agent that should be on Washington's radar is former Raiders/Bears tackle Alex Leatherwood. Since being drafted 17th overall in the 2021 draft by the Raiders, the former Alabama tackle has played in 21 games. At 6'5" 312 lbs Leatherwood is an improsing force.

Leatherwood is a talented prospect, but the lack of development with the Raiders was evident. After briefly playing him at tackle, coaches moved the former Alabama tackle inside to guard with little success.

After the new regime took over the Raiders, Leatherwood was released in an effort to clean house. He was among other former Day 1 and Day 2 draft picks that Las Vegas failed to develop and cut ties with before their rookie contracts were even up.

After the Raiders released Leatherwood, the Chicago Bears owned his rights after they put in a waiver claim. Leatherwood was predominantly played inside at left guard for the Bears, before being diagnosed with mononucleosis and placed on the football injury/illness list for 4 weeks.

The tackle was only active in 4 games for Chicago in 2022 and didn't see his first game action until Week 13 vs the Packers. As a reserve he only played 10 snaps on offense and 5 snaps on special teams against Green Bay.

(Senior Bowl Highlights)

Many have written off Leatherwood, but Washington's lack of depth and overall lack talent at tackle is a legitimate concern heading into the season.

Although it's believed Leatherwood can be a viable option at guard, he still hasn't tapped is potential at tackle.

Leatherwood thrives when utilized on outside zone runs and in the screen game, which is what fans should expect in Bieniemy's offense.

Although his kick slide still needs to be refined, he has shown growth in that department. When facing the bull rush he understands how to use leverage and effectively utilize his length (33" arms with a 84" wingspan).

After reviewing the former Crimson Tide linemans film he has a lot of correctable issues and a change of scenery would be beneficial. He seems to be holding back his aggression, but has the recognition ability vs the rush and length that simply cannot be taught.

Although the Browns recently signed Leatherwood to their practice squad, he's still eligible to sign with any team's active roster if he agrees to terms.

Charles Leno Jr is the returning starter at left tackle and new addition Andrew Wylie will start at right tackle. Current starting right guard Sam Cosmi can always slide back to RT if needed and 9 year vet Cornelius Lucas can always start in a pinch at LT/RT.

An injury to any of the mentioned tackles could be devastating to RIvera's chances to challenge for the NFC East title or a wildcard birth.

Leatherwood is by no means a finished product, but the opportunity to bring in a player of his caliber at the veteran minimum should be considered.

YouTube credit @ScottKennedy



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