Bears claim OL Alex Leatherwood off waivers from Las Vegas

The Chicago Bears claimed offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood off waivers on Wednesday, a day after the 2021 first-round draft pick was let go by the Las Vegas Raiders.

Leatherwood, the No. 17 overall pick last year, struggled at right tackle before being moved to guard after four games. The Alabama product had difficulties inside, too, and dropped on the depth chart this summer before Las Vegas let him go. It’s the first time the Raiders got rid of a first-round pick prior to his second season since 1988, when they dealt 1987 first-rounder John Clay to the Chargers for Jim Lachey.

The Bears have retooled their offensive line after giving up a league-leading 58 sacks last season. Leatherwood could complete with right guard Teven Jenkins and right tackle Larry Borom.

Chicago also claimed defensive back Josh Blackwell, defensive lineman Kingsley Jonathan, defensive lineman Armon Watts, linebacker Sterling Weatherford and tight end Trevon Wesco off waivers.

The Bears released linebacker Joe Thomas and waived linebacker Caleb Johnson, defensive back Duke Shelley, offensive lineman Zachary Thomas and defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga. They placed receiver Tajae Sharpe on injured reserve.