Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC – NFL Draft Player Profile

    versatility is a buzzword in the nfl. No player in the nfl draft class of 2021 embodies versatility better than usc offensive tackle alijah vera-tucker. Can he take advantage of that versatility on a first-round pick in April?

    alijah vera-tucker nfl draft profile

    • position: offensive tackle
    • school: usc
    • current year: redshirt junior
    • height: 6’4 1/2″
    • weight: 308 pounds

    alijah vera-tucker scouting report by tony pauline

    Positives: Two-year starter who was used at guard and left tackle. fast-rising offensive lineman coming off a terrific season. he plays a good base level, stays square and constantly takes advantage of opponents. he keeps his feet moving, shows better-than-average footwork from the rim and mounts running backs from their angles of attack. he works his hands, blocks with a nasty attitude and attacks assignments. he blocks opponents well despite his lack of height. patient, he does not spread out too much in blocks and shows outstanding awareness.

    Reading: Alijah vera-tucker usc nfl draft profile

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    negatives: better run blocker than pass protector. does not finish screens in pass protection. short for left tackle position. occasionally pushed back in the pocket.

    Analysis: After initially announcing that he would opt out of the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker returned to the field and had a brilliant campaign. he shows excellent footwork, strength as a run blocker and the tenacity to start in the nfl, although I think he will be a guard rather than a tackle.

    alijah vera-tucker player profile

    usc offensive tackle alijah vera-tucker began his path to the 2021 nfl draft at bishop o’dowd high school. pushed onto the football field as a freshman, he immediately felt at home in the trenches. vera-tucker showed his versatility early on. he played both defensive and offensive lines during his high school career.

    A four-star recruit for 247 sports, Vera-Tucker was ranked the 141st player in the nation, the 19th offensive tackle and the 13th best prospect in California. Although he received several offers, he committed to USC before the start of his senior season.

    vera-tucker recorded 12 tackles and 3 tackles for loss on defense as a senior in high school. Showing more versatility and athleticism, he blocked a punt on special teams. Meanwhile, he excelled as an offensive tackle when Bishop O’dowd was crowned Class 5a champion.

    Vera-Tucker’s accomplishments on the field were rewarded with a USA Today All-California First Team selection.

    alijah vera-tucker’s college football career at usc

    although he is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the 2021 nfl draft, there were questions about whether alijah vera-tucker would play offensive tackle at usc. Some members of the USC media considered him a possible defensive lineman. either way, there was consensus that he would redshirt his freshman year in 2017.

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    During 2017, he would gain around 25 pounds, completing his 6’4″ figure at 315 pounds. With all thoughts of playing defensive line behind him, he saw his first action of 2018. Again showing versatility, he played in 12 games on special teams and as a backup right guard.

    Vera-Tucker’s college football career at USC exploded in 2019. Switching sides to play left guard, he started all 13 games for the Trojans. Athletic, strong, and skilled in both the running game and pass protection, he was voted USC Offensive Lineman of the Year.

    His work also received national attention. The USC star was named to the first All-Pac-12 Associated Press team.

    due to uncertainty surrounding the 2020 pac-12 season, alijah vera-tucker initially focused on the nfl draft

    However, when the season was confirmed, he chose to return to fight with his brothers once again. With Austin Jackson departing for the NFL, Vera-Tucker slipped into the offensive tackle spot for USC.

    Back in his starting position in high school, he stood out once again. Starting all six games at left tackle, he received an All-American honorable mention and earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors. What’s more impressive, he was awarded the Morris Trophy, which recognizes the most outstanding offensive and defensive linemen.

    the morris trophy is prestigious because opponents vote for it. The PAC-12 defensive linemen acknowledged that Vera-Tucker was the toughest player they faced in 2020. Following the end of the PAC-12 season, Alijah Vera-Tucker declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.

    analyzing alijah vera-tucker’s nfl draft profile

    the word versatility has been used several times in alijah vera-tucker’s nfl draft profile. however, I don’t think you can underestimate it. At USC offensive tackle, you have a player who could play anywhere on the offensive line. Consider the capitulation of the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense in Super Bowl LV. that shows the importance of offensive line depth. having a player who can fill multiple roles is invaluable.

    vera-tucker is an athletic, strong and intelligent offensive lineman. he shows great athletic ability to get to the second level in the running game. he also moves well laterally in pass protection. usc’s offensive tackle has exhibited great strength playing guard against powerful interior defensive linemen. he often displays a “mauler” mentality in the running game.

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    In addition to being athletic, Vera-Tucker exhibits great balance and body control. there aren’t many examples where you find it on the ground. even if he is initially pushed back by an opponent’s power, he does well to recover. As a result, it’s a challenge to master.

    what are the potential concerns with alijah vera-tucker?

    there’s a lot to love about usc offensive tackle alijah vera-tucker as an nfl draft prospect. However, there are some minor concerns related to his projection as an NFL offensive tackle. although he shows good hand speed, there are times when he needs to work on his placement. there are examples in the tape where he places his hands on the outside shoulder instead of hitting the inside.

    You may also be guilty of worrying too much about getting hit outside. this may be due to the concern of being hit by sprinters. when you focus on that, you are exposed to internal movement.

    Overall, however, there are few concerns about Vera-Tucker, especially at guard.

    alijah vera-tucker’s best fits in the 2021 nfl draft

    Back-to-back years with an impressive belt at two different positions make USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker a tough prospect in the NFL draft. he played extremely well at left tackle this season. however, based on his 2019 tape, he would make an excellent shooting guard. either way, he would fit in on a team that operates a zone lockout scheme.

    When you think of plans and needs, Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, and Kansas City Chiefs immediately come to mind. would it be within reach of those teams in the 2021 nfl draft? In his latest big board for the Pro Soccer Network, Tony Pauline ranks Vera-Tucker as the 34th overall prospect and second shooting guard, and has a second-round rating.

    that would put kansas city at the bottom of the first round as a prime location. however, as the rumor mill grows, alijah vera-tucker has a chance to participate early in the 2021 nfl draft.

    Want more news on 2021 nfl draft prospects? want to make your own mock draft?

    Dive into nfl’s free nfl mock draft simulator and test your own drawing acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for detailed NFL news and analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@pfn365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL draft scene.

    oliver hodgkinson is a contributor to nfl draft and nfl analysis for pro football network. you can follow him on twitter at @ojhodgkinson.

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