Jets saw “unique opportunity to get a top-10 player” with Alijah Vera-Tucker trade

Broadway Joe

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Mar 19, 2019
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One common observation about quarterback Sam Darnold‘s three years with the Jets was that the team didn’t do enough to surround him with talented players on offense.

Darnold is now in Carolina and the Jets didn’t waste much time before trying to make sure the same isn’t true for his successor. Zach Wilson became the team’s new quarterback with the second pick in this year’s draft and General Manager Joe Douglas jumped nine spots to get him some help on the offensive line.

Douglas traded the 23rd pick and two third-rounders to the Vikings for the 14th pick and a fourth-round selection. He used No. 14 on former USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker.

“I think where we were sitting at 23, we felt like we had a unique opportunity to get a top-10 player in our minds as our board was stacked. To go up and get a guy like Alijah Vera-Tucker, a player that has started at tackle, has started at guard and has been highly productive at both. That versatility and that production is something we really value,” Douglas said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Vera-Tucker is the second offensive lineman the Jets have drafted in the first round in the last two years. Mekhi Becton had a strong rookie year at left tackle and Vera-Tucker may slot in next to him at left guard to form a tandem the Jets hope will be part of brighter days for their offense.
 
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