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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Report: Raiders may part ways with 2021 first-round pick

Alex Leatherwood on the bench

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tackle Alex Leatherwood sits on the bench during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

While NFL draft busts are not uncommon, it is rare that a team is eager to move on from a first-round selection just one year after making the pick. The Las Vegas Raiders, however, appear to be in that situation.

The Raiders are considering “all options” for offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That includes potentially trading or releasing the 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Leatherwood spent most of his rookie season as a guard, but the Raiders decided to move him to right tackle during the 2022 season. However, he appears to have lost that job to Jermaine Eluemunor, leaving the team with the issue of figuring out what to do with their former first-round selection.

Leatherwood was drafted by the previous regime led by GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. The team was widely roasted for the pick, which was seen as a major reach even at the time. Both Gruden and Mayock have left the organization, so those who championed Leatherwood in the first place are no longer in the building.

Regardless of how the Raiders handle Leatherwood, it’s another indictment of Mayock and his staff. They became known for reaching early in drafts, and the more time passes, the more it appears the critics were correct.

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