Raiders OL Alex Leatherwood allows two pressures in Week 6

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The Raiders drafted Alex Leatherwood to play right tackle. They wanted him to be a long-term starter at that spot and essentially gave him that job with no competition from the moment they selected him at No. 17.

But a month into the season, the team moved him from right tackle to right guard. That is typically a fast way to ruin a young offensive lineman. But to their credit, he has been better at guard than tackle.

Leatherwood is now coming off the highest-graded game of his career and allowed only two pressures against the Broncos. Here is what Pro Football Focus had to say about the first-round pick after Week 6:

“Leatherwood continued to play at guard after beginning the season at right tackle and drowning in that role. He has been markedly better at guard, which is not to say good. He surrendered two total pressures from 30 pass-blocking snaps this week against Denver, the first time he has been as low as two pressures since Week 2. Leatherwood earned his best PFF pass-blocking grade of the season this week (62.3) and the only one that has topped 50.0. Whether he is a long-term tackle remains to be seen, but it seems likely Leatherwood will stay at guard in the short term given how much better he has been.”

Is it ideal that Leatherwood is playing guard already? No. But if he is having more success there and the offense is better, it’s hard to complain.

To Leatherwood’s credit, he has improved over the last two weeks. According to PFF, he’s allowed just five pressures in the past two games on 122 snaps. That is significantly better than he did at right tackle, when he was allowing 5-6 pressures a game on top of multiple penalties and sacks.

Leatherwood still has a long way to go before you can say he was worth his first-round draft capital. But it does appear that the move to right guard has been a positive one for him early in his career.

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