Alex Leatherwood Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders guard Alex Leatherwood (70) reacts after their loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders’ early draft picks continue to not pan out.

On Tuesday, the Raiders waived former Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, just one year after selecting him with the 17th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The decision comes after the Raiders tried to trade Leatherwood to “everyone” and were rejected, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (whose math is off; there would be 31* “nos” if the Raiders spoke to every other team in the NFL).

Leatherwood, 23, started all 17 games for the Raiders as a rookie in 2021. He had significant struggles at right tackle before moving inside to right guard at the end of the season. He was given another shot at right tackle this offseason, but he quickly fell down the Raiders’ depth chart. With upside as a run-blocker, and with alarming issues as a pass-protector, it’s easy to see Leatherwood’s next team just playing him at guard.

This caps off an absolutely brutal era of Raiders drafting from the Jon Gruden (former head coach) and Mike Mayock (former general manager) regime. The Raiders’ first-round picks from 2019-21 — and especially 2020-21 —  have been gone terribly.

The Raiders even traded 2019 second-round pick Trayvon Mullen (cornerback) to the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday:

The good news for Raiders fans is that there’s a new head coach (Josh McDaniels) and a new general manager (Dave Ziegler) running things these days in Las Vegas. And there won’t be a first-round — or second-round — bust for the Raiders in 2022; they traded their first and second-round picks to acquire superstar wide receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers.

Here’s a look at how NFL fans are reacting to the Leatherwood news and the Raiders’ draft failures:


About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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