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Alijah Vera-Tucker Drafted by Jets: New York's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 30, 2021

Southern California guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (75) participates in the school's pro day football workout for NFL scouts Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The New York Jets beefed up their offensive line by selecting USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 14th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft on Thursday.

The Jets moved up nine spots from No. 23 to No. 14 to grab the Minnesota Vikings' first-round selection. The details of the deal can be found here via Connor Hughes of The Athletic:

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

The #Jets traded No. 23, No. 66 and No. 86 for No. 14 and No. 143, sources tell @TheAthletic

Here's a look at how New York's depth chart shakes out with him in the mix.

   

Jets' Offensive Depth Chart

QB: Zach Wilson, James Morgan, Mike White

RB: La'Mical Perine, Ty Johnson

WR 1: Corey Davis

WR 2: Jamison Crowder

WR 3: Denzel Mims, Braxton Berrios

TE: Christopher Herndon, Ryan Griffin

LT: Mekhi Becton, Chuma Edoga

LG: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Cameron Clark

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C: Connor McGovern, James Murray

RG: Alex Lewis, Greg Van Roten

RT: George Fant, Chuma Edoga

     

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap. Projected offensive line starters via Hughes.

       

Vera-Tucker played offensive guard during the 2019 season before moving primarily to left tackle in 2020. The B/R NFL Scouting Department pegs him as an interior offensive lineman on the next level and listed 10th overall among all prospects. Drae Harris of the Draft Network sees him as an offensive guard.

NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who once oversaw the Dallas Cowboys' personnel department, is probably the highest on Vera-Tucker in the industry. He sees the former USC star as either a guard or tackle with "lots of upside for the future." Brandt ranks him sixth among all 2021 draft prospects.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network provided this analysis sum-up of the 21-year-old: "After initially announcing he would opt out of the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker returned to the field and had a brilliant campaign. He displays terrific footwork, strength as a run blocker, and the tenacity to start in the NFL, though I believe it will be at guard rather than tackle."

Even if most teams hypothetically see Vera-Tucker as a guard, his versatility makes him a prized prospect in this year's class, especially if his team encounters depth concerns due to injury.

New York clearly emphasized protecting new franchise quarterback Zach Wilson by moving up nine spots, and it's done just that by adding a potential cornerstone on the line for years to come.

Vera-Tucker should be a plug-and-play starter for the Jets, with Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network saying on the draft prospect that he should start at left guard.

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