NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Alex Leatherwood is coming back to the AFC West division. The veteran offensive lineman has signed with the Los Angeles Chargers, the team announced on Wednesday

Leatherwood, 25, was selected by the Raiders with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He started in each of the team's 18 games that season while helping the franchise make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. 

Struggles at offensive tackle, however, ultimately led to Leatherwood's (who started at guard during his one season in Las Vegas) release in August of 2022. He appeared in four games with the Chicago Bears in 2022 before spending part of the 2023 season on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad. 

While his NFL career has yet to take off, Leatherwood was a key member of Alabama's 2020 national championship team. He won the Outland Trophy that year while helping pave the way for future Steelers' first-round pick Najee Harris

In Los Angeles, Leatherwood will join an offensive line that includes veterans Rashawn Slater, Bradley Bozeman, and rookie first-round pick Joe Alt. The Chargers are being led by first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, who has made no secret about his desire to build a strong offensive line in Los Angeles. 

"Offensive linemen, we look at as weapons," Harbaugh said earlier this offseason. "That group, when we talk about attacking on offense, the offensive line is the tip of the spear."