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USC O-lineman Vera-Tucker, 49ers have spoken ahead of draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
USC product Alijah Vera-Tucker revealed at his Pro Day availability Monday that he has had contact with the 49ers.
As one of the top offensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, Vera-Tucker has spoken to several teams, but one thing that stands out about his connection to the 49ers is his admiration of Trent Williams.
The Trojan standout is projected to be a mid-first-round pick and has played across several positions on the offensive line. After spending much of his college career at right and left guard, Vera-Tucker kicked out to left tackle in 2020 and made it look natural.
At 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, Vera-Tucker might be slightly undersized for a left tackle but has the physical talent to pull it off. At his Pro Day availability on Monday, the Trojan lineman shared how he studied Indianapolis Colts star Quenton Nelson as a guard but shifting outside made him a huge fan of Williams.
“I feel like with Trent Williams he is a really physical player and he can move really well for how big he is,” Vera-Tucker said. “Real athletic. His feet move really nicely and he climbs to the second level really well.
“You can tell he has specific aiming points whether it’s in pass pro or the run game. His hands are really good in pass pro. Just trying to be able to study all of that, how he steps too, is really important to me at tackle.”
USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell runs an outside zone/Air Raid offense, which would make Vera-Tucker an attractive prospect for Kyle Shanahan. The Oakland native prides himself on his physicality, football IQ and ability to get to the second level.
With Williams re-signed to a six-year deal, the club would be looking at Vera-Tucker in his natural position of guard. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has the USC versatile lineman projected as the No. 16 selection in his latest mock draft , adding that he is one of the "safest picks" of the class.
USC head coach Clay Helton sees the First-Team All Pac-12 lineman as an over-achiever that is dedicated to improving every day. He compared Vera-Tucker’s productivity and focus at tackle to Miami Dolphins lineman and fellow USC product Austin Jackson.
“What you’re going to get Alijah is when he walks into the building he’s daylight til dark,” Helton said. “He’s a blue-collar work ethic guy that has been given just a God-given talent, but you’re getting the same consistency of discipline and work each and every day from the guy.
“He’s been a joy to coach and I’m going to miss the heck out of him.”