LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Las Vegas Raiders used their first round pick to fill one of their biggest needs on the roster, taking Alabama Tackle Alex Leatherwood at number 17.
Leatherwood is expected to start immediately at right tackle.
Leatherwood was a captain on the Alabama National Championship team, a unanimous first team All-American and Outland Trophy winner. He's also a former teammate of wide receiver Henry Ruggs and running back Josh Jacobs.
Leatherwood said he's bringing a skill set that will stand out.
"I feel like my explosiveness allows me to bring physicality, speed and everything you need in an 0-lineman, honestly to the Raiders offensive line," Leatherwood said. "But I’m just grateful for this opportunity and more than happy and ready to get started."
The pick raised some eyebrows with a lot of people who felt the Raiders could have taken Leatherwood later in the draft and possibly traded down or waited for their second round pick. General Manager Mike Mayock said he was the best player available on the team's draft board and they wanted to make sure they got him.
"There’s a risk/reward scenario and in this case we didn’t feel it was worth it," Mayock said. "When we made the pick we had the tv’s on and I forget which group it was but they were saying they could’ve had him in the second round and blah blah blah. So I understand that. The fan base is going to listen to that and the fan base is going to question it."
Leatherwood was projected to be a second round pick on a lot of the national outlet's mock drafts and said it's motivating for him, but not in a negative way.
"I’m more than excited to get to the program and prove them right, not exactly to prove the haters or the people who made the mock drafts wrong, but to prove myself and the Raiders organization right," Leatherwood said.
Rounds two and three of the draft will be held on Friday.
Currently, the Raiders select 16 in the second round and hold the 16, 17 pick in the third round.