5 NY Jets players NOT named Aaron Rodgers most critical to success in 2023
By Ryan Shafer
4. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, NY Jets
Alijah Vera-Tucker (AVT) is a legitimate All-Pro offensive lineman, and he flashed that during his first two seasons with the Jets. Showing legitimate versatility to play guard or tackle at a high level, AVT can plug a lot of holes for the offense.
With the return of Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown this year, it appears that AVT will slot in at right guard for the 2023 Jets, his natural position. If Vera-Tucker can solidify the interior line and get back to the battering ram that he can be upfront, it bodes well for Rodgers and the running game.
AVT is coming off a major injury, however, and although it appears he will be back in time for the preseason and week one against the Bills, having him at full strength is crucial to the Jets’ success.
Vera-Tucker only managed to play in seven games last season but played multiple positions on the line. In those seven games, the Jets got off to a 5-2 start, in large part because of the success of AVT and the run game. Without him, the Jets were a measly 2-8 the rest of the year.
Having a healthy Alijah Vera-Tucker for all 17 games will be important, not just for the run game, but also for keeping Rodgers on his feet throughout the season. Without AVT, expect the Jets to struggle to move the ball.