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Raiders Cut Alex Leatherwood, Removing Another Gruden-Mayock First-Round Bust

Ryan Phillips
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages
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The Las Vegas Raiders cut offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood on Tuesday, removing a former first-round pick who had only played one NFL season. By dumping Leatherwood, the Raiders have removed yet another mistake from the Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock Era.

In a move that shocked the league, Vegas made Leatherwood the 17th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Most observers had the Alabama product ranked in the 50 to 70 range. After the first night of the draft, we made the Raiders one of our biggest losers from the first-round because the selection was so shocking. Leatherwood would have almost certainly been available with Vegas' second-rounder (No. 48), Mayock and Gruden pulled the trigger. Later they insisted he was the right pick and the highest-rated player on their board at the time. I don't doubt that's true and therein lies the problem.

As a rookie in 2021, Leatherwood did nothing to prove draft experts wrong. Pro Football Focus gave him a horrendous grade of 45.0 for the campaign. He was terrible and after one season, the Raiders were done with him.

If you look at the three drafts Mayock oversaw along with Gruden, their first-rounders have been absolute disasters.

In 2019, the Raiders selected defensive end Clelin Ferrell (No. 4), running back Josh Jacobs (No. 24) and safety Johnathan Abram (No. 27) in the first-round. Jacobs is the only one who has provided any real value. Ferrell (44.4) and Abram (56.9) got horrible grades from PFF in 2021.

In 2020, the Raiders selected receiver Henry Ruggs (No. 12) and cornerback Damon Arnette (No. 19). Ruggs was released following his involvement in a fatal DUI crash, and Arnette was released during the 2021 season and is currently a free agent.

In 2021, they took Leatherwood who has now been cut.

That's just an unbelievably terrible track record and we're only taking into account the first-round busts. They had tons of other wasted selections.

The Gruden-Mayock regime set the Raiders back years with their awful use of draft picks. That was just further reinforced with the Leatherwood move on Tuesday.

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