The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Alijah Vera-Tucker 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Alijah Vera-Tucker Background
Position: Offensive Guard/Center
Size: 6-foot-4, 315 pounds
Class: Redshirt Junior
2020 stats: First Team All-Pac-12
Vera-Tucker is a versatile offensive lineman who got a lot of experience over the last three years at USC. After the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
USC was the college choice for Vera-Tucker after he was a standout prospect in California. He redshirted his first year on campus. In his second-year on campus as a redshirt freshman, he played in all 12 games. For the 2019 season, Vera-Tucker took over a starting position at left guard. He was named Second Team All-Pac-12 for his play in 2019 as the Trojans went 8-5 on the season. For the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker played left tackle and was named First Team All-Pac-12. The Trojans went 5-1 and appeared in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Following his good play at multiple positions, Vera-Tucker is moving on to the next level. He is a projected first or second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
His versatility makes him a sought-after prospect. Vera-Tucker has played both guard and tackle in his career, which teams will like. This will also make him more valuable, as teams who need help at either position could select him. He demonstrates the knowledge and the ability to play both guard and tackle at a decent level.
With his versatility, comes his knowledge. Vera-Tucker has a high football IQ and is also has good real-time awareness. He recognizes how defenses will blitz, twist and stunt and knows how to effectively protect the quarterback in these situations. A lot of his knowledge comes from understanding how to play multiple positions along the offensive line.
He moves bodies in the running game. His good explosion off the line of scrimmage helps him win early. Vera-Tucker can seal off his block and allow running backs to get huge gains. He also has the mobility to get to the second level and execute his blocks. Defenders are rarely able to shed his block in time to go and make a play on the ball.
Vera-Tucker doesn’t have great length for an offensive lineman. This is partially why he will probably be a better fit at guard in the NFL. His good hand placement can cover up for his lack of length, but pass rushers who have longer arms than him do give him problems.
At left tackle, Vera-Tucker specifically struggled with speed rushers. He doesn’t have the length to really stall their pass rush. Vera-Tucker also doesn’t have enough lateral mobility to keep up with the best athletes on the outside. Pass rushers who can do inside-out or outside-in moves can give Vera-Tucker problems, as it makes him move laterally more than he is comfortable with.
In order to improve his movement, Vera-Tucker needs to work on his feet. With better footwork, Vera-Tucker could keep up with faster pass rushers on the outside. If his lateral-mobility can get better, Vera-Tucker can play left tackle, otherwise he will definitely be moved inside to play guard where that won’t be as big of an issue.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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