Raiders reportedly had good reason for making controversial draft pick
The Las Vegas Raiders were widely criticized for their selection of offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood in the first round of the NFL Draft. It turns out they reportedly had reason to believe they had to take him then or risk not getting him at all.
Leatherwood was graded as a second-round pick by a number of draft analysts, and the pick was questioned by experts such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. Amid widespread criticism that the pick was a reach, ESPN’s Jim Nagy reported that other teams picking between No. 20 and No. 32 had a first round grade on Leatherwood, and the lineman likely would have been a first-round pick even if the Raiders hadn’t selected him.
Some context on @Raiders decision to take Alex Leatherwood with No. 17 pick. Media crushed them but Leatherwood was going in first round. Spoke to multiple teams picking in 20-32 range that had Leatherwood in Round 1. Most don’t agree with the pick but it wasn’t a reach.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) May 2, 2021
The pick may still prove to be a reach. However, it’s pretty clear that the Raiders weren’t the only team that saw something worthwhile in Leatherwood.
The Raiders had been having some fun on social media with the pick. Perhaps they feel more confident about that with this information.