Report: Raiders “Had Intel” That Ravens Were Targeting Alex Leatherwood in Round One

Raiders’ GM Mike Mayock has gone on record with some of the details to why Alex Leatherwood pick made sense with the no. 17 overall pick. One detail, though, that he didn’t divulge is that the Raiders apparently had information on another team looking at Leatherwood in round one.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Raiders were trying to stay ahead of Baltimore in the first round because the Ravens were believed to be targeting Leatherwood.

“They liked the makeup of Leatherwood vs. Christian Darrisaw (who was widely seen predraft as likely to go well before Leatherwood would),” Breer reported on the Raiders on Monday. “Leatherwood was a captain, never in trouble and part of a national champion, while there were questions on Darrisaw’s toughness, grit and ability as a run blocker. Second, they saw a guy whose ’19 tape would absolutely justify a first-round pick, before he, admittedly, slipped a little in ’20. And third, they had intel that Baltimore, with two picks late in the first round, was on Leatherwood, meaning absent a trade down a few slots, it would’ve been pretty hard for them to land him elsewhere.”

For what it’s worth, there was a separate report last week that linked Baltimore to Leatherwood. So assuming the information was good, it sounds like the Raiders understood other teams’ draft boards a little better than they have been given credit.

Even if Leatherwood was drafted a few spots higher than his expected draft position, the Raiders chose the ideal position group to gamble on. OL coach Tom Cable has done very well with the Raiders’ offensive line over the past few years. Remember, Jon Gruden and the gang were similarly criticized for drafting Kolton Miller in the first round three years ago. The “Miller project” panned out very well and if all goes as planned, the “Leatherwood project” will, too.

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9 thoughts on “Report: Raiders “Had Intel” That Ravens Were Targeting Alex Leatherwood in Round One

  1. Its funny how we want to believe that a draft board falls to us and that if there is a player that may have a high mark for his measurables, that he is a better pick because he was ranked higher by some other draft pundit. The Raiders are continuing to build a team that meets the Gruden/Mayock vision of a team — maybe that vision isn’t what everyone wants, or maybe it is. My interpretation of the team that G/M want is a self-motivated team made up of high achievers or overachievers who just plain love to play football and are capable versatile athletes so that when they teach them the scheme of the offense or defense there is a synergism in the team so that the sum of the parts is much greater than the individual value of the parts. Leatherwood sounds like the right G/M type of player — a hardnosed good player who loves football, has competed at a very high level and excels at what the team needs at the right tackle spot. Having Josh Jacobs and adding Drake to me says they really want to be able to run the ball. The ability to run the ball effectively makes the Gruden passing game effective. The biggest issues that the offense faces this year are: (1) how will the newly created O-line do together as a line with the Tom Cable system (both in run and pass); (2) have last year’s rookie wideouts improved in their strength, understanding of the offense and route running so opposing defenses will have to worry about them; (3) can John Brown be as effective as Nelson Agholor; (4) will the changes on the defensive line result in more sacks and more pressure for opposing quarterbacks; and (5) will our secondary be much improved with the growth of rookies from last year, the addition of the new dbs, and the hopeful improvement on the pass-rush. These draft pundits may know the workout warrior ability of the kids in the draft, but they do no know our team as well as our coaches and GM — so — how are they able to say that this player doesn’t improve our team as much as one of the other “higher ranked players (according to their board.)” , i.e. who do you think knows better how a player fits our team and scheme more — a draft pundit or a coach whose job depends on him being right and who knows our needs, weaknesses and scheme better? Leatherwood makes sense for the skills and traits that he brings to the team.

  2. I’m over it. We got the top safety and a top tackle 1, 2 or 2,1. At worst case we have a very good RG in year 2 and need abother RT. At least 4 positions are solid on the line with young guys.
    Lets let the “Leather bring the Wood”.

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