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The Alabama Crimson Tide are set to host a Pro Day on Tuesday. Like every year, the team will be well-represented with NFL talent, as it’s likely we see multiple first- and second-round picks coming out of Tuscaloosa once again.
One of those potential Day 1 or 2 picks is offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood.
After spending four seasons at Alabama and three as a starter, the former five-star prospect is moving on to the NFL. It’s been a heck of a run for Leatherwood, but many wonder when the Florida native will hear his name called.
It’s possible that it could come sometime on Day 1, but it’s more likely that he finds a home on Day 2. Figuring out where he’ll be spending the first part of his career is the first step. The second step is figuring out where on the field Leatherwood will contribute.
At 6-foot-6, his weight has been anywhere from 310 to 322 pounds at Alabama. He’s also had starts at two polar opposite positions along the offensive line: right guard and left tackle. While his build is set up more for an edge protector, he’s strong enough — and athletic enough — to play in a phone booth as well.
According to Leatherwood, his spot in the lineup will depend on which team selects him.
“Some teams like me at tackle, some at guard,” Leatherwood said, via Bama Central. “It just all depends on what team you’re talking about and their team needs, but I feel like most of them think that I can play anywhere on the offensive line.”
It makes sense, as Leatherwood’s versatility should help him at the next level.
If I were coach of an NFL team, I’d give him a crack at tackle — if I needed help there. Considering his power and experience at right guard, playing on the right side wouldn’t be that big of a leap. It has been a couple years since he’s done it, so there might be some rust, but he should be fine.
Left tackle will obviously be the biggest ask. It’s where Leatherwood has the most experience, but speed rushers from that side make protecting the blindside on a week-to-week basis extremely difficult. I believe Leatherwood could hold up, but it wouldn’t be easy.
Left guard, on the other hand, is very doable. He’s already got the experience playing in a confined space, plus he’s athletic enough to pull and get out in front of defenders in space. Really, the only questionable position would be center.
If I had to guess, I’d say Leatherwood ends up being a late second-round/early third-round pick. He’ll add valuable depth as a sixth offensive lineman who can step into multiple spots, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he ends up being a starter somewhere on the O-line by 2022.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.