After drafting a quarterback at No. 2 overall, the Jets could improve their offensive line and take USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 23.
- OG/OT, USC
- 6-foot-4, 315 pounds
- Second-team All-Pac-12 in 2019
- First-team All-Pac-12 in 2020
- Morris Trophy for top Pac-12 offensive lineman in 2020
How Alijah Vera-Tucker would Benefit the Jets
What they plan to do at No. 23, however, remains a mystery, but it would be in the organization’s best interest to continue focusing on the offensive side of the ball in order to assist in their soon-to-be rookie quarterback’s development.
While New York could acquire an offensive skill player in the back half of the first round, an offensive lineman is additionally an option.
Enter: USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker.
What’s great about Vera-Tucker is his versatility — he possesses experience as both an offensive guard and tackle. The Jets could field him at one of the two guard spots before potentially slotting him in at the right tackle position (George Fant could be gone after this upcoming season).
Eventually placing Vera-Tucker on the exterior of the offensive line could lead to the Jets locking in their bookend tackles; 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton is an up-and-coming star at left tackle following a superb rookie campaign.
Figuring out either position would be highly beneficial for the team’s eventual starting quarterback.
Alijah Vera-Tucker Film Notes
Vera-Tucker and USC’s October 2019 loss to Notre Dame (LG #75)
Early on in the game, we’re able to see Vera-Tucker’s ability to stay with his blocks as he utilizes great footwork and hand placement.
The same goes for this pass play — Vera-Tucker does his part to protect USC quarterback Kedon Slovis.
Vera-Tucker with a great first step here in order to seal the defender on the sweep play.
Alijah’s athletic ability to reach the defender is on display here — just a little chip helps spring a first-down run for the Trojans.
Vera-Tucker shows off his strength and power on this play — teams will fall in love with this pair of on-field qualities.
Vera-Tucker needs to break down and utilize better footwork than he did on this play — as one of the lead blockers on the shovel pass, he didn’t exactly keep his composure when approaching the defender and thus missed the block.
And finally, Vera-Tucker puts that strength on display again and helps push USC running back Markese Stepp across the goal line for the late touchdown.
Vera-Tucker and USC’s November 2020 win over Utah (LT #75)
Great footwork and hand placement from Vera-Tucker here, which plays a noteworthy role in protecting Kedon Slovis.
He utilizes the same on-field strengths on this play.
Vera-Tucker constantly keeps his eyes upfield, like he does in this clip in order to locate the next defender.
Alijah Vera-Tucker portrays spectacular talent from both the guard and tackle spots. He implements great footwork and hand placement on pass plays but is still able to utilize his strength and power when run blocking.
His experience in multiple roles within the offensive line is partly what’s making him such a high-graded prospect — the Jets would have a number of different ways to use him if they were to select him at No. 23.