Prospect for the Pack: Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood

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Zach Kruse
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The Green Bay Packers will enter the 2021 NFL draft hoping to find a few more valuable pieces to add to an otherwise talented roster after winning 26 regular-season games and making the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons under coach Matt LaFleur.

Between now and the draft, Packers Wire will periodically break down one top prospect capable of landing in Green Bay later this month.

Up next is Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood:

What he can do

– Started 41 games for Alabama. Split time between left tackle and right guard. Positional versatility is a plus. Can probably play four of the five offensive line positions

– Really looks the part. Carries his weight well. Big, powerful lineman with strong arms and a thick base

– Many have him pegged for guard in the NFL, but athletic testing was elite and suggests a real chance for him to play at a high level at either left or right tackle. Right tackle could be a terrific long-term spot

– Length is a real asset. Wingspan of nearly 85″

– Could be a game-changing run blocker at right tackle. Showed dominant flashes at the point of attack

– Correcting some subtle technique issues could unlock potential as a pass-blocker

– Looks really comfortable in staple zone scheme concepts. Should be good on the move

– Quick feet, but quicker rushers could still give him issues at the next level

– Will be tough to bull-rush even by NFL rushers

– Was penalized at too high of a rate throughout college career

– Durable, starting 41 straight games

How he fits

Leatherwood could be a long-term starter at either guard or tackle, two spots that might need help in Green Bay in 2021 and beyond. It’s possible Leatherwood could be a Day 1 starter at right guard – assuming Lucas Patrick moves to center – and help keep the offensive line mostly intact. He could also play right tackle, freeing Billy Turner to play all over the line. And his experience at the position presents an opportunity to play left tackle should David Bakhtiari miss time to start the season. Offensive tackle is the premium position, but the Packers saw firsthand the power of versatility among the starting five offensive linemen last season. Leatherwood would provide even more value in this area. At the very least, Leatherwood deserves a chance to play offensive tackle at the next level before considering a move inside.

NFL comp

Billy Turner isn’t a terrible comparison. Like Turner, Leatherwood can play all over the offensive line, with experience at left tackle, the movement skills to survive on the edges and also the strength to be a positive factor on the inside. Leatherwood has longer arms and a higher upside, especially at guard.

Where Packers could get him

Likely in the 25-40 range, with some wiggle room for trading up and down. Not everyone is convinced Leatherwood will be a first-round pick, but he’s a top-40 for most. Athletic offensive tackle prospects with three years of starting experience in the SEC usually don’t last too long.

Related

Prospect for the Pack: Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg

Prospect for the Pack: Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore

Prospect for the Pack: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins

Prospect for the Pack: Florida WR Kadarius Toney

Prospect for the Pack: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.

Prospect for the Pack: Oregon S Jevon Holland

Prospect for the Pack: LSU WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

Prospect for the Pack: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins

Prospect for the Pack: Alabama DL Christian Barmore

Prospect for the Pack: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II

Prospect for the Pack: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi

Prospect for the Pack: Purdue WR Rondale Moore

Prospect for the Pack: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman