The Las Vegas Raiders have decided to move rookie RT Alex Leatherwood to RG after his struggles over the course of the first four games of the NFL season, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Brandon Parker will take over the right tackle position.
The Raiders offensive line has been a mess over the past four games. In each of the first three games, the line starts off slow but picks their game up in the second half, finishing the game off strong. But against the Los Angeles Chargers, that was not the case.
The Raiders line gave up an absurd 18 total pressures in Week 4 and were never able to get anything going on offense. Head coach Jon Gruden and offensive line coach Tom Cable knew a change had to be made as QB Derek Carr got demolished against the Chargers front. Without a change on the offensive line, they felt they would continue to struggle. So Leatherwood will play RG for the foreseeable future.
Alex Leatherwood was the 17th overall pick out of Alabama. When the Raiders decided to make him the third tackle drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, it was shocking, as he was widely ranked as a day two pick.
The Raiders took Leatherwood in the hopes he could give them consistency, something Trent Brown was not able to do in 2020. Earlier in camp, Tom Cable said, “[Leatherwood’s] an extreme competitor. I think that was probably my No. 1 characteristic that I loved about him… As he fails, he learns. That’s the really cool part.”
Although Cable said “as he fails, he learns,” the Raiders have realized Alex Leatherwood’s play hasn’t lived up to what they expected. He’s given up 4 sacks and 6 QB hits through three and a half games (He injured his back in Week 2 and missed the second half). PFF currently ranks the rookie as the 2nd-worst lineman in the NFL, only behind rookie guard Jalen Mayfield.
Jermaine Eluemunor and Kolton Miller have been the most consistent linemen for the Raiders, but Las Vegas plans to keep John Simpson in at LG, with Eluemunor being the primary backup at both guard and tackle.
He played RT over the past few years and was the starting RT for the New England Patriots when the Raiders played the Patriots in their Week 3 matchup in 2020.
If Brandon Parker struggles at RT, expect a short leash that could see Eluemunor taking over that spot.
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