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Raiders cutting Alex Leatherwood highlights failures of Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock regime

As the Jon Gruden lawsuit continues to play out, NFL attorneys have revealed that he "consistently" sent "derogatory emails" while serving as the Raiders' head coach.

The Raiders released tackle Alex Leatherwood on Tuesday, just a year after taking him with the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Cutting a first-round draft pick after just one season is a stunning move -- except that with Raiders draft picks of the Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock era, it’s actually not much of a surprise.

Gruden was the Raiders’ head coach and Mayock the general manager for three drafts, 2019-2021, and the Raiders made some astonishingly bad selections during that time.

Leatherwood is actually the third consecutive Raiders first-round draft pick not to even make it through two years on the roster: The Raiders had two first-round picks in 2020, Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette, and they were both released during the 2021 season.

The Raiders had three first-round picks in 2019, and those three fared better -- but not a lot better: Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram have all struggled to make a major impact, and the Raiders didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on any of their contracts.

And the bad drafting under Gruden and Mayock went beyond the first round. Trayvon Mullen, the Raiders’ 2019 second-round pick, was traded to the Cardinals yesterday for a conditional seventh-round pick. The Raiders had three third-round picks in 2020 -- Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards and Tanner Muse -- and none of them is still with the team, either.

First-year Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler didn’t inherit a lot of good young talent when they took over the team that Gruden and Mayock left behind. The Raiders’ draft picks of recent years have been a lot of misses.