2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Alijah Vera-Tucker

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Alijah Vera-Tucker is a versatile Offensive Lineman from USC. In 2019, he was outstanding at Guard, but moved out to Left Tackle in 2020 (where he also performed very well). Vera-Tucker stands at 6’4″, 315lbs. While that’s a little short for a Tackle, he has shown that he’s more than capable of playing that position.

Strengths: One of the most important aspects to Alijah Vera-Tucker’s game is his versatility. In 2019, he had an outstanding season playing Left Guard, and then he was bumped out to Left Tackle (due to Austin Jackson’s departure), where he had yet another stellar season. He displays great athleticism, with the ability to pull and get to the second level. Vera-Tucker is a very technically sound player. He displays a fluid kick step and looks natural moving laterally in pass protection. His movement skills make him the best fit for a zone blocking scheme, although I think he will fit nicely into any other scheme as well. Along with his athleticism, he shows really nice balance and good pad level. Vera-Tucker also displays great strength in the run game, as he can pancake Defensive Linemen and create large rushing lanes. Due to his strength, he shows a really nice ability to anchor along with a strong wide base, and rarely is driven back too far. Vera-Tucker’s versatility is special, and I believe he will be a very good Guard or Tackle. My personal opinion is that he will be a better player at guard but, if a team’s biggest need is at Tackle, I wouldn’t hesitate to put him there either, and would completely expect him to succeed.

Weaknesses: Vera-Tucker’s biggest weakness, for most people, would be his length; however, it really isn’t that much of a weakness to me. Standing at 6’4″, he doesn’t have the longest arms in the world, which makes his arms a little too short for playing at Tackle. That being said, he is still a very good Tackle (and an even better Guard), so I’m not too concerned with this. He occasionally places his hands too wide on Defensive Linemen, which can lead to them getting to his chest, and could also lead to some unnecessary holding calls since they are on the shoulder pads. Although Vera-Tucker’s athleticism is good, he can occasionally overcompensate protecting his outside, which causes him to get beat back inside.

Bottom Line: Alijah Vera-Tucker is a very good Offensive Line prospect. He displays all of the traits that you would want in an Offensive Lineman, and has proven himself at both Guard and Tackle. His athletic traits, ability to pull, and getting to the second level would be best utilized in a zone running game, but I think he will succeed regardless of the system. His ability to become a very good Tackle or Guard can not be overstated. I think he will be a better Guard than a Tackle, but I will say that he can be very good at either spot and that he has the potential to become a Pro Bowler. 

Grade: 1.6

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