There are way too many people bashing on the Las Vegas Raiders' draft picks this year; the same people handed out low draft grades to tackle Kolton Miller and look what he turned out to be.
This year's draft feels like deja vu, but this time we're having the president of the NFL Draft Bible, the most trusted source for objective information regarding college prospects for the draft, break it down for us. We had him tell us more on the Raiders offensive lineman drafted in this year's NFL draft.
Zack Patraw joined the "Pritch & Clay" morning show with guest host Hondo Carpenter, Editor and Publisher of Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven, on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE). Patraw gave us his perspective on the new lineman.
"He (Alex Leatherwood) has the potential to be a high caliber starting offensive lineman in the NFL. People talking about him not being a first round pick, well you know let's put it this way, there's plenty of work that he needs to put in to get better--but those are things are fixable. And if you see that high potential," Patraw said. "The Raiders and many other NFL teams do, picking him at 17 there I think is a great decision to help build up the Raiders' offensive line."
Leatherwood has the potential of becoming a great offensive lineman for the Raiders. Putting in the work and improving on his footwork and technique can go a long way in having a long career in the NFL.
"He's one of those guys where he puts in a good camp, has a good rookie camp, OTAs, all that stuff and has a good training camp and everything like that, I do think he has the potential to develop into a starting caliber offensive lineman year one," Patraw said on what Leatherwood needs to do if he plans to start at tackle in his rookie year.
General Mike Mayock has come out publicly and said Leatherwood is the starting right tackle for the Raiders, and it is his job to lose.
Fortunately for Leatherwood, he comes into an organization with the man many in the NFL believe to be the best offensive line coach in all of football: Tom Cable. Having Cable is very important for developing a first-round pick into that high-caliber player they all expect him to be.
"It's (Cable) huge, and I say this with a lot of a lot of teams and prospects, when you look at development. Coaching is everything to the development for these prospects. Putting him (Leatherwood) with with that type of coach, this is his guy. The sky isn't the limit for him when you look at the potential and who is the coach," was Patraww's view.
Selecting Leatherwood at No. 17 was a no-brainer. Teams talked about him being a first-round talent and planning on selecting him in the late first round. The Raider loved this guy and knew they could have missed out on him in the late first-round or early second round.
Risking to trade back was not an option and not worth losing a guy who can help solidify the offensive line for years to come.
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