NY Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker is an ideal target at pick 23

NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets should look to draft USC standout offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker with the No. 23 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Jets offensive line wasn’t good throughout the 2020 season. Some would say it was unacceptable comparing the unit leaguewide amongst adequate NFL competition.

The team believes that they have the left tackle position solidified for the next decade-plus with notable second-year standout Mekhi Becton.

From there, the team is left with a plethora of one-year stop-gap players that likely won’t see their roster spot safe until cuts are finalized in early September.

It’s arguable that the team has needs at all four other spots along the offensive line, one need that could be addressed early in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Jets hold possession of the No. 2 and No. 23 overall picks in the upcoming draft. Many expect the team to use their No. 2 overall selection on a signal-caller, as quarterback Sam Darnold’s time in New York seems to be running short.

Though, the No. 23 overall selection is up for debate.

Alijah Vera-Tucker is a perfect target for the NY Jets

USC offensive tackle/guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, who is set to turn 22-years-old in June, would be an outstanding selection for New York. Excelling in both pass protection and run-blocking, Vera-Tucker’s good use of hands and patient feet would likely work wonders for a team like the Jets.

Assuming Vera-Tucker falls in the laps of Joe Douglas and company at pick 23, the team would be wise to strike on a player that would automatically upgrade the guard position for Gang Green.

It isn’t much of a surprise that the Jets are in their current state regarding the offensive line. Since their last appearance in the AFC Championship back in 2010, fellow regimes have simply ignored the offensive line unit as a whole.

The offensive trenches have become a liability, and previous general managers, not including Joe Douglas, have seemed to flinch at the idea of splurging on a potential upgrade.

Joe Douglas has attacked the unit head-on, adding replacements as they become available, even if they’re seen as veteran stop-gap players.

The Jets would be doing justice to whomever their quarterback may be with the No. 23 overall pick if they were to select Vera-Tucker. The offensive line is just as important of a position as a quality wide receiver is to a quarterback.

Not only have the Jets failed to supply Sam Darnold with sufficient receiving talent, but their lack of providing protection for the fourth-year signal-caller should also be just as criticized, if not more.

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There are surely other options at No. 23 that the team will likely consider, though they shouldn’t pass up on the opportunity of potentially pairing Mekhi Becton with another commanding force along the offensive line in Alijah Vera-Tucker.