5 possible replacements for Riley Reiff in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Alex Leatherwood
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Alex Leatherwood /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Alex Leatherwood /

Alex Leatherwood – Alabama

Much will depend on where the Vikings are picking in the 2021 NFL Draft. But if it is late in the first round then a player like Alex Leatherwood should be high on their shortlist.

The Alabama standout has all the makings of a premier tackle at the next level. He comes from a prestigious program and boasts a wealth of big-game experience, so the transition to the NFL should be a smooth one despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 college football season.

Leatherwood is a commanding figure on the edge. His upper body strength is a standout feature of his overall game. This is matched by a thick base that makes him a formidable presence to move off the block.

Another impressive element to Leatherwood’s game that shouldn’t be overlooked is his quick feet. His reactions are not in keeping with a man of his size and this is something else that will jump out on film during the evaluation process.

It looks like the Crimson Tide are going to get some football this fall and this is good news for Leatherwood’s chances of improving his draft stock in the coming weeks. But there are some areas of his game that do need brushing up before he gets to the next level.

Leatherwood’s aggressiveness works in his favor for the most part. But he does have a tendency to gamble on plays that leave him stranded if things do not work out as expected.

His positioning has also come into question at times. However, Leatherwood comes with a high ceiling and he should be a first-round selection next year.