Draft Digest: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Cheesehead

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Mar 19, 2019
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Packers.com consulted more than a dozen mock drafts from reputable national outlets and compiled a list of players most frequently mocked as draft selections in the bottom third of the first round (picks 20-32).


Between now and draft day, when the Packers are slated to select at No. 29 overall, those players will be profiled with thumbnail sketches in a new series entitled "Draft Digest."


Today's player is …



Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC


Height/Weight:
6-4, 315


Key stats: Started all six games in 2020 at left tackle after starting all 13 games in 2019 at left guard.


College honors: Received All-Pac-12 Conference recognition each of the past two years.


Background: Versatility is the buzzword around Vera-Tucker, but in this case it's not being overused. As an all-conference selection at both left guard and left tackle the past two years, Vera-Tucker is an attractive NFL prospect most analysts believe has the greatest potential at guard. But his six-game stint at left tackle last season showed the feet and athleticism to be a blind-side pass protector and vaulted him into the first-round conversation. His USC pro day results (5.1 40-yard dash, 32-inch vertical, 36 bench reps at 225) solidified that status as well. Playing tackle in high school certainly helped with the quick transition when USC needed a left tackle to take over for Austin Jackson, a first-round pick in 2020. Vera-Tucker's short run at the position, which included one less-than-optimal outing in the Pac-12 championship vs. Oregon, could give him a longer learning curve at left tackle if an NFL team wants to try him there first.


Potential fit with Packers: Vera-Tucker is the type of offensive line prospect the Packers have drafted in the past – one with the ability to play multiple spots up front. The Packers' current needs, both for immediate depth and long-term stability, are more acute at tackle than on the inside. Left tackle David Bakhtiari signed an extension late last season before injuring his knee, so once he returns, right tackle will need the future starter, so it's hard to say how well Vera-Tucker fits what the Packers might be looking for. But if he's as versatile as advertised, with the Packers' established linemen like Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner providing positional options, his overall value cannot be dismissed.
 
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