Alijah Vera-Tucker Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Versatility to play guard or tackle
Good technique; ready to play quickly
Nimble on the edge
Gets depth in his drop to neutralize speed rushers
Can play the typewriter to cut off the corner
Bends at the knee
Doesn't have to reach for rushers
Can anchor against bull rushes
Solid run blocker
Quick to the second level
Beats defenders to spots, walls off and gets in good position
Good scraper to tie up defenders and sustain blocks
Excellent fit in a zone-blocking scheme
Three year starter
Less-than-ideal length for a left tackle
Will long edge rushers give him problems?
Not a bull in the ground game
Could stand to get stronger for the NFL
Is his frame maxed out?
Not a great fit for a power man-blocking scheme
Summary: Vera-Tucker impressed team evaluators in 2020 as the replacement for left tackle Austin Jackson. The athletic Vera-Tucker played guard for USC in 2019, but he really jumped out with his skill set and ability to win at the point of attack. Vera-Tucker moved to left tackle for 2020 and put together an excellent season protecting quarterback Kedon Slovis. Vera-Tucker was one of the best offensive linemen in college football and showed excellent versatility.
There is a lot to like about Vera-Tucker for pass protection at the next level. He is an easy mover with athleticism, quickness and agility. Vera-Tucker can glide with speed rushers with ease, showing the ability to play the typewriter with his feet. He also is a natural knee bender who maintains good leverage while avoiding bending at the waist. When taking on bull rushes, Vera-Tucker is able to anchor and absorb the rush to keep them from pushing him into the quarterback.
In the ground game, Vera-Tucker is not a bull at the point of attack, but he is effective. He is more of a wall-off-and-position blocker who beats defenders to a spot to cover them up and keep them from making the tackle. He does a nice job of scrapping and keeping his hands fighting to sustain his blocks. It would help him to add strength if his frame isn't maxed out. Vera-Tucker might fit best in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level.
Vera-Tucker could end up as a starting left tackle in the NFL and provide very steady blind-side protection. He could be an excellent guard as well, having Pro Bowl potential there. Vera-Tucker looks like a starting left tackle or guard early in his NFL career and is worthy of being a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. If teams view him as a starting left tackle, he could end up as a top-20 choice. If they view him as a guard, he might be more in the No. 20-32 range.
Player Comparison: Kelechi Osemele. Vera-Tucker reminds me of Osemele in some ways. Both are excellent guards qho have enough size and athleticism to play tackle. Osemele has been a very good pro, and I think Vera-Tucker could follow a similar path.