Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
Alijah Vera-Tucker (AVT) played guard for the USC Trojans in 2019 and was considered a solid prospect but did not generate much buzz for the pros. Vera-Tucker was moved to the left tackle spot in 2020 and put on a showcase, which has his name firmly in the 1st round conversation of the 2021 NFL draft. Similar to Slater, there may be a conversation about whether or not Vera-Tucker should play guard or tackle, but he proved in 2020 that he can play at high level.
Vera-Tucker is listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, adequate size for either guard or tackle. He is masterful in space and moves smoothly, and he’s able to sift through to the second level and hunt for another block to pick up. He possesses adequate strength, but there can be inconsistent pop to his punch at the point of contact.
Which position Vera-Tucker plays at will likely be decided by what team drafts him. The USC Trojan prospect reminds me a bit of long time Chief Branden Albert. If Kansas City manages to secure Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL Draft, he could likely end up playing at left guard, next to veteran Eric Fisher (if he can return healthy).
The draft stock of Alijah Vera-Tucker has certainly swelled over the course of the 2020 college football season. As AVT prepares for the 2021 NFL Draft, his measurements and testing will help teams identify where they are most comfortable playing him. It is hard to project precisely where Vera-Tucker fits in the 1st round with the uncertainty about his best position. There is no doubt that he has a skill set that embodies what Andy Reid and Andy Heck covet.
If Alijah Vera-Tucker is available when the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock, the pick would go a long way to upgrading the offensive line.