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Over the next couple of months, we are going to be taking a look at a handful of draft prospects leading up into the 2021 NFL Draft. With the Chargers having needs at various positions, we will do our best to evaluate the players that we feel fit the team precisely.
Today, we are taking a look at USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Height | 6-4
Weight | 315
Vera-Tucker needs to improve his hand tactics to better sustain the point of attack, but he comes with highly impressive athleticism and movement skills to match, projecting as an NFL starter — has experience outside at tackle, but his natural NFL position might be inside at guard.
USC LT Alijah Vera-Tucker with a 3 for 1 special on this play. He’s playing at a very high level. pic.twitter.com/rwfhDnsXcG
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 26, 2020
Another clean performance from #USC OT Alijah Vera-Tucker (LT #75) yesterday vs. Arizona. Hard to believe that it’s only his second career game playing tackle.
In a zone based blocking scheme, he could be an ideal fit at either guard or tackle. pic.twitter.com/RIFqgagCB8
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) November 15, 2020
Alijah Vera-Tucker played great at LT this year. He has a natural anchor and easy, quick athletic feet. He'll more than likely move inside to guard in the NFL (where he belongs) but he's another first round grade from me and should be a high level interior lineman. pic.twitter.com/M17D39XEc4
— Justen Gammel (@gamscout) January 12, 2021
Impressive frame with essential body thickness.
Very quick moving backwards and keeps up with most pass rushers off the edge while maintaining great technique.
Balanced feet, both in space and when locked up. Flexible lower body to drop and roll his hips at contact. Consistent knee bend in pass protection. Quick to recover after a jab to his chest.
Core strength to anchor at shallow depth. Powerful hands to punch, reload and fire again.
Clean puller to seal or stick defenders in space. Flips his hips with smooth footwork and builds momentum down the line.
Never content, staying busy with active eyes to identify stunts/slants.
Demonstrated versatility at USC by playing guard and tackle at a high level.
2020 Morris Trophy — Best offensive and defensive lineman in the Pac-12.
2020 First-Team All-Pac-12 (Pac-12 and Pro Football Focus).
Active hands, but placement lacks refinement, often landing outside his target.
Can get head start protecting the edge, setting too aggressive outside and late protecting inside moves.
Reliable square blocker, but can struggle with speed at times.
Vera-Tucker is an ideal fit for the Chargers’ zone-blocking scheme, either at tackle or guard. He comes in with the ability to do anything Los Angeles could ask of him: pulls, reach blocks, screens. He is a major improvement over Sam Tevi and Forrest Lamp in pass protection and should provide an upgrade in the running game. Inside at guard, where he would likely start in his rookie season, he’s proven that’s he’s plenty strong to anchor against more powerful defensive linemen and can handle athletic defenders, as well. He has demonstrated that he can be called upon as a starting blindside protector, too.