Alex Leatherwood - OT, Alabama
By the numbers:
6'5", 312 pounds
34-3/8" arms per Senior Bowl measurements.
Unanimous first-team All-American selection.
Alex Leatherwood is a big, strong offensive tackle with a frame that allows him to hold his own on nearly every snap. His long arms come in handy and once he uses them to latch on to an opposing pass-rusher, they're toast. Leatherwood is firm at the point of attack and plays with a ton of strength and power.
As a run blocker, Leatherwood is fantastic. He plows lanes open and can climb into the second level of the defense, constantly searching for more work. In pass protection, he stacks firm punches and drives hard, rarely giving up any ground. When he loses, it isn't because he got overpowered.
Leatherwood is versatile, capable of playing both tackle and guard. This is a good thing in today's NFL, as switchability between positions is a major plus for teams with unstable offensive line situations. His ceiling may even be higher at guard, although he's a more-than-solid tackle already.
Leatherwood isn't a bad athlete by any means, but he also isn't a great one. He moves fairly well laterally, but against rushers who have either elite bend or speed, he's susceptible to getting beat. When shuffling his feet or fighting for repositioning, Leatherwood can be thrown off balance at times. This is partially due to his lack of a thorough contingency plan.
Hand usage on a down-to-down basis isn't an issue for Leatherwood but when plays break down and his initial attack fails, his methods can grow a bit stale. Some view him as an NFL guard because of those deficiencies but again, they only show up when facing freak athletes or downright technicians on the other side of the ball.
How Leatherwood fits with the Chiefs:
Leatherwood's ability to play guard or tackle should appeal to a team like the Chiefs. With so many departing players and injuries throughout the offensive line, a versatile option may be the best one. Leatherwood's power-punch combo is what the Chiefs have been missing at the line of scrimmage. In terms of team need and player fit, the two sides joining forces makes a lot of sense.
While Leatherwood has a few minor things he needs to work on in order to become a great NFL player, he should be a good one from the jump. He's a very good run blocker, boasting terrific strength and just enough athleticism to round out his game. His versatility and overall profile are impressive. He's a top-40 prospect in this year's draft, grading out as a likely late first-round pick.