Packers get Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood in NFL Wire mock draft

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Zach Kruse
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The Green Bay Packers got help for the offensive line in a first-round mock draft from all 32 managing editors in the NFL Wire network.

Picking at No. 29 overall, Packers Wire selected Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood.

The blurb explaining the pick: “Second-tier receivers and cornerbacks were still available, but the Packers go with Leatherwood to ensure the offensive line remains a high-level unit in 2021 and beyond. A left tackle at Alabama, Leatherwood could slot in at right guard or right tackle as a rookie and help the Packers replace All-Pro center Corey Linsley among the starting five. In this scenario, the Packers could play Lucas Patrick or Elgton Jenkins at center and have either Leatherwood or Billy Turner eventually play guard. Leatherwood tested well, and his experience and versatility will be attractive to Green Bay. His floor is high. And his ceiling is as a 10-year starter at either tackle spot.”

Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore and Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. were heavily considered and nearly selected, but both have legitimate size concerns that could knock them down the team’s draft board, especially in the first round. In this scenario, the Packers prioritized a premium position along the offensive line and grabbed a safe prospect that could play right away at either guard or right tackle.

We were disappointed to see defensive lineman Christian Barmore, cornerback Greg Newsome, safety Trevon Moehrig, receiver Rashod Bateman and edge rusher Jaelan Phillips come off the board between No. 22 and No. 28, eliminating several attractive targets for the Packers.

However, Leatherwood checks a lot of boxes. He played left tackle at a high level in the SEC. He’d solve a need at a premium position. He has tremendous length and did well in the pre-draft testing process. He’s still only 22 years old. He has position versatility along the offensive line.

With Leatherwood on the roster, the Packers would enjoy continued flexibility in constructing the starting five along the offensive line, a valuable proposition after the surplus of versatility helped the Packers deliver one of the NFL’s best offensive lines in 2020.

Without considering size or what the Packers generally prefer in first-round prospects, Moore – a dynamic receiver and a perfect fit in Matt LaFleur’s scheme – would have been the pick.

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