Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood decides to return for senior year
At one point in the season, Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood was thought to be a strong contender to go in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.
Now we’ll have to wait a year after the 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior decided to forgo the 2020 NFL draft and stay for his senior year.
Thank you for the endless support Bama Nation! We’re coming for it all in 2020! pic.twitter.com/qMToSUPQp7
— Alex Leatherwood (@Alskee_) January 2, 2020
Prior to his decision, Leatherwood was one of several ‘Bama underclassmen who are potential – the key word being “potential” – first-rounders. Another potential first-rounder is Alabama’s other offensive tackle, Jedrick Wills. The school also awaits the decision of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receivers Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith and safety Xavier McKinney, among others.
Leatherwood is the No. 17 overall prospect in the latest Fanspeak-Steve big board.
LT Alex Leatherwood returning to #Alabama in 2020.
Can go from a possible 1st rounder to a definite 1st rounder with a strong senior season. https://t.co/rp3hTN2pjd
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 2, 2020
But Alabama coach Nick Saban has talked to his players about their projected draft stock. Saban said some of the players aren’t rated as high as the media suggests.
The NFL teams Nick Saban has talked to only have one Alabama player with a top-15 draft grade, Tua Tagovailoa.
He discussed that with players while talking about the benefits of playing in the bowl game.
"I said (to the team) we only have one guy with that high of a grade."
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) December 30, 2019
In other draft news:
- Dylan Moses, a projected first-round linebacker who missed all of the season with a torn ACL, is returning to school, too, although his father, who is a lawyer, says the decision is not set in stone yet.
- Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace announced that he is returning. Wallace tore his ACL earlier this season.
- Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet said back in November that he was returning to school, but that was before he received feedback from the NFL saying he was the top TE in his class. The junior announced Thursday that he’s entering the 2020 NFL draft.