Former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood took the majority of his reps at right tackle in the first Raiders’ offseason practice that was open to media viewing on Thursday at the team facility.
While it doesn’t mean he has moved back to the position he occupied at the beginning of his rookie season last year, it’s a good indication he will get another shot.
Coach Josh McDaniels has said he likes flexibility in the offensive line and the plan is to have most of that group learn multiple positions.
“We’ve been moving him around a little bit,” McDaniels said. “Each one of the guys up front. We’ve got some guys playing center and guard. We’ve got some guys playing on the right side and the left side. We’ve got some guys playing tackle and guard. So, there was a little bit more of a focus (on right tackle) today for him.
“Ultimately, we’re going to try to figure out who the best five are that can give us the best chance of success every play. And he’s certainly working his butt off right now to try to give us the right stuff wherever we put him.”
Leatherwood was drafted in the first round of the 2021 draft to play right tackle and started there the first four games last year before moving to guard for the rest of the season. The former Alabama star, who started every game as a rookie, is listed at both positions on the team’s roster.
“I like his attitude and what he’s doing,” McDaniels said of Leatherwood’s progress. “That whole group just works. They come to work every day. They don’t really say a whole lot and they grind it out. So, pleased with the effort that they’re giving us. And again, we’re asking a lot of some of those guys in terms of moving because that gives us an opportunity to evaluate multiple people alongside other people.
“He’s doing a good job. He false started once today, but I mean that’s going to happen when we hit the noise.”
Rookie Dylan Parham was listed strictly as a guard on the team’s roster and is expected to compete for playing time at the position.
The most set-in-stone spot on the line is at left tackle, where Kolton Miller is a stalwart. He likes what he has seen so far from his potential bookend.
“He looks like he’s leaned out,” Miller said of Leatherwood. “He looks good in the weight room and you get out on the field and his feet look real nice. I’m excited for him.”
“It’s a tough job to try to learn tackle and then switch midseason to guard. That kind of speaks to how dynamic he can be. He’s done a ton of work in the offseason and I’m really excited about what’s to come.”
No change for Jacobs
Running back Josh Jacobs was on the practice field, though he didn’t wear a helmet and didn’t participate in drills.
He was wearing a familiar No. 28 jersey, which was a bit surprising. Jacobs indicated on social media in March he was planning to change back to the No. 8 he wore in college.
Financial considerations may have been a factor. Players who change jerseys generally have to buy the back stock of unsold jerseys with their former number.
Jacobs indicated Thursday on Twitter that cost may have been as much as $3.5 million.
Offensive lineman Denzelle Good suffered a torn ACL in the first game of last season and missed the rest of the year with the injury.
He was back on the field with his teammates Thursday. While Good didn’t go through team drills, he was doing agility work on the side field and moving well.
Cornerback Trayvon Mullen posted earlier this month he was undergoing surgery and was not on the field.