Going into the 2019 season, it was assumed that Alex Leatherwood was enjoying his showcase season at Alabama and would ride off for the greener pastures of the NFL Draft after the season. Thankfully, a sense of unfinished business and a reported second round grade inspired him to return for one more ride. He was rewarded with an Outland Trophy for the nation’s best interior lineman and a second national championship ring.
Leatherwood came to Alabama as the top rated tackle in his recruiting class, and after serving mop up duty in his freshman season was forced into action on the biggest stage thanks to Jonah Williams’ injury early in the second half of the 2017 national title game. Against one of the best defenses in the nation, he played extraordinarily well considering the circumstances and anchored a line that contributed mightily to the Alabama comeback. Never again would Alex see the bench in Tuscaloosa.
As a sophomore he slid inside to guard as both Williams and fellow first rounder Jedrick Wills finished out their careers, before moving to left tackle permanently in his junior campaign. He was the anchor at one of the most critical positions on the field for two of the greatest offenses in NCAA history.
If Alex has a limitation, it is an occasional susceptibility to a quality speed rush. In general, however, he makes up for what he lacks in quick twitch ability with outstanding use of his hands. Alex really clicked under former Atlanta Falcons OL coach Kyle Flood and became a technician at the position.
Alex is an outstanding run blocker, combining outstanding technique with plus power. He has prototypical size for tackle at 6’6”, 312 lbs. but some see him as more of a guard prospect. He acquitted himself well in both positions at Alabama. He has nearly ideal arm length at 33 7/8”, just short of the coveted gold standard of 34” but well beyond the 33” baseline for an offensive tackle.
Alex also served as a vocal leader off the field, particularly last summer when the team decided to join many in marching for racial justice. He is intelligent, speaks thoughtfully, and will be a top notch locker room asset for whichever team is fortunate enough to select him.
Hopefully he will hear his name called sooner than later.