2. The NY Jets could trade up for Alijah Vera-Tucker
This would probably be a dream scenario for the Jets. USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker is widely considered to be the best interior offensive line prospect in this year’s class.
A two-year starter in college, Vera-Tucker has experience at both guard and tackle, but most scouts see him as a better fit at guard in the NFL. Projections seem to be all over the place for him right now, but most expect him to be selected within the top-20 picks.
Some even have Vera-Tucker as a possible top-10 selection. In all likelihood, we’ll see him come off the board within that 12-18 range which likely means he’ll be gone by the time the Jets pick again at 23.
That is, of course, if they don’t decide to move up.
A variety of teams picking in the late teens and early 20s could use offensive line help including the Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, and Tennessee Titans. That leaves little-to-no chance that Vera-Tucker falls all the way to 23.
But if the former USC star is still on the board at, say, 16 or 17, do the Jets consider a trade-up? One would think so.
The Jets swung and missed on Joe Thuney in free agency and the options were rather thin after that leaving them with the same five starting offensive linemen that they boasted a year ago.
Expect that to change in the draft, and Vera-Tucker would be a fantastic way to upgrade.
The 21-year-old could slide in as a day-one starter replacing either Alex Lewis or Greg Van Roten at guard (Lewis makes the most sense) giving the Jets a pair of young stalwart offensive linemen to build around.
If Vera-Tucker falls, the Jets might pounce.
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