With the 14th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select…Alijah Vera-Tucker, offensive Lineman, USC.
After selecting their quarterback of the future in Zach Wilson, the New York Jets traded back up in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With that pick, they get him some more protection and select USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker.
After selecting Mekhi Becton in the first round a year ago, general manager Joe Douglas seems to be committing to building his team in the trenches. With Becton already anchored at left tackle, the Jets bring in another young blocker in Vera-Tucker.
Alijah Vera-Tucker is a very well-rounded offensive line prospect. He can play all five offensive line positions, with experience at three positions at the highest level of college football. As a player, Vera-Tucker does just about everything right.
In order to succeed at both left tackle and guard in the NCAA, you have to have a ton of quality NFL traits. He has great footwork and heavy hands in pass protection and is a great mover and powerful mover in the run game.
I would expect Vera-Tucker to bump in to left guard right away for the New York Jets. The organization clearly liked the player enough to move all the way up from pick 23 to pick 14 in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
In addition to the 14th overall pick, the New York Jets will also receive pick 143. To move up, the team gave up pick 23, pick 66, and pick 86. That is quite a bit for someone that is not a quarterback or likely even a left tackle, but Vera-Tucker will fit perfectly into the Jets’ new system and will make an immediate impact.
The New York Jets still have plenty of picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, albeit not likely any more tonight, so they still have ample opportunity to reshape their roster. Look for Douglas and the front office to turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball with their next couple picks.