NY Jets OL Alijah Vera-Tucker expects to be ready for training camp

NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker
NY Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NY Jets are optimistic about the state of their offensive line entering the 2023 season, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the impending return of Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Following an impressive rookie season, Vera-Tucker returned in 2022 and quickly established himself as likely the team's best offensive lineman. Unfortunately, the former first-round pick tore his triceps after just seven games, prematurely ending his breakout season.

The good news is that Vera-Tucker is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in July. Vera-Tucker told reporters on Wednesday that he is currently doing individual drills with the offensive line group and that he should be 100 percent for training camp.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise as Vera-Tucker has been expected to be full go for the start of the season for months now. It's nice to hear that he's still on track for a full return, though.

The NY Jets have high hopes for Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2023

When the Jets traded up to land Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL Draft, they did so with the expectation that they were adding a day-one starter and future offensive cornerstone.

Vera-Tucker's rookie season was promising as he went on to start 16 games, earning a Pro Football Focus grade of 66.8 that ranked 39th out of 82 qualified offensive guards.

He followed that up with an impressive start to the 2022 season, despite switching positions from left guard to right guard in the offseason. However, after three excellent games at right guard, the Jets called on Vera-Tucker to switch to offensive tackle following a slew of injuries.

Vera-Tucker would start one game at left tackle and three at right tackle, more than holding his own in the process. That was until he tore his triceps in Week 7 and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

In seven starts last year, Vera-Tucker allowed just one sack, and that was while he was playing right guard. His 76.5 PFF run-block grade ranked sixth among all qualified guards in the NFL in 2022.

Next. 4 biggest losers following the NY Jets 2023 NFL Draft. dark

There's every reason to believe that Vera-Tucker will pick up where he left off last season upon his return in 2023. Only now, he should have a slightly better quarterback to protect.