The Raiders will allow Alex Leatherwood to play out his role

The Raiders will allow Alex Leatherwood to play out his role ...

During his three seasons as a starter at, he played right guard in 2018 and left tackle in 2019 and 2020, winning the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman in the latter season.

Leatherwood began the first four games of his rookie season with right tackle before being sacked up at the right guard for the remainder of the campaign.

Its a valuable experience that hes ever had because hes had the opportunity to play different positions, says the Raiders general manager at the NFL annual meeting. You learn things from getting through that. When youre accustomed to playing on one side, and you move to the other side, theres another transition that you must make.

"Alex is a young, talented player. He got to play a lot of snaps last year, which was really valuable for him, and we're excited to work with him and let him follow his path and learn what he does best and kind of see from there."

The offensive line that started most of the 2021 season after re-signing Brandon Parker last month has been drafted in. Kolton Miller at left tackle, John Simpson at left guard, Andre James at center, Leatherwood at right guard, and Parker at right tackle

Jermaine Eluemunor was re-signed at the Raiders after three games at the right guard before being benched for the Leatherwood-Parker combination on the right side. Denzelle Good is relegated to Las Vegas in 2021 but the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee was removed in the season opener and missed the rest of the campaign.

Alex had great interactions with him so far, according to the Raiders' new coach. "He's thrilled. He played a lot of football as a rookie. That counts for something. I know this: He played a lot of snaps. He played tackle; he played guard. We're going to try to give him the opportunity to play a role that is his best fit and the best fit for the Raiders.

"Look, we know what he was recruited for, and we'll give him an opportunity to do so," he says. At the end of the day, we'll set the best five guys out there, the best five players we can put out there to protect the quarterback and run the football and be physical. That's what we're going to do.

Leatherwood took 1,105 of the Raiders' 1,140 offensive snaps in 2021, allowing him to play every offensive snap in all but one of Las Vegas' games.

Leatherwood was the culprit in seven false starts, four offensive holdings, and one unlawful use of hands, according to the NFL. Two more holding penalties against Leatherwood were reduced, and one other was a result of an offsetting penalties pair. in the NFL drew more flags than Leatherwood's 16 last season -- Dallas guard Connor Williams with 17.

Ziegler believes that the development of offensive linemen requires patience.

It's a lot of... differences between the game at the college level, and how offensive linemen are asked to do, and how it's run schemes, and whether it's spacing and splits, said the president. There are a lot of... differences, and so I think because of that, there is also a lot of development that must go into becoming an offensive lineman in the NFL. It's going to be different from what a lot of these guys are asked to do in college

"And then it's such a technical position, when it comes to hand placement, it's about body positioning, steps, and footwork in a locked space. It's not like receiver where all else is important, however you're running a route 10, 15, 20 yards down the field. This is close combat, and you have to be very precise and quick right off the jump, and this is a tough position.

"And then there's run calls, pass-protection calls, and front changes, and there's a high-five, I'd say, football IQ component in playing offensive line. You must be intelligent to make that task. That's a lot of different steps you must make from college to the pros, which is a developmental position because of all of these things."


Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at.

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