It comes as no surprise how many players are selected on draft night from the University of Alabama.
We heard the names of players projected to be drafted in the first round.
Quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, and cornerback Patrick Surtain II, all advertised before draft night.
With so much talent on that Crimson Tide squad, a few players will go under the rug and not receive as much praise for their talent on the field.
Once again, this was the case as the Silver and Black selected tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft.
Raider Maven Publisher Hondo S. Carpenter Sr., is a close friend of Jones. While guest-hosting on the "Pritch & Clay" morning show on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE), knowing of the Raiders' interest in Leatherwood, Carpenter asked him about the young man.
"Alex is one of those individuals who's really been a mainstay on the offensive line there, and very, very competitive again has all the intangibles, is very bright and very very athletic and played a lot of football," Jones said about Leatherwood being a mainstay of Bama's offensive line, which year-after-year has produced NFL-ready talent.
Jones had the opportunity to work at Alabama as an offensive analyst under Nick Saban for three years after being let go as the head coach for the University of Tennessee. Jones spent three years at that position at Bama and was able to see Leatherwood anchor the offensive line that won the 2020 Joe Morrow award, given to the nation's best offensive line in college football, and the 2020 Outland Trophy winner, given to the best offensive lineman in college.
"When you're at Alabama, you're competing against the best of the best every single day in practice, but also the expectation of the mindset is so important because, you know, when you look at it, when you show up on game day on Saturdays, you're going to get everyone's best," Jones said. "Everyone is going to measure up to the standard for which you are, you are the standard so everybody's going to measure themselves against you.
"There's a lot of mental toughness that goes into knowing that you're going to get, every team, every individual's best on a weekly basis, and I think that's one of the things that builds mental toughness and that internal drive, and I know that Alex is very intelligent. He has great internal drive, is very, very competitive, and again very, very athletic for that position."
The Raiders have once again shocked the football with their first-round selection on Thursday night, but we're not entirely shocked at the selection. The Raiders liked him and had a very long look at him before drafting him.
Having a well-respected college head coach like Butch Jones praise Leatherwood for his career in Alabama helps digest why the Raiders selected him in the first round.
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