The 2021 NFL Draft is underway and seven Trojans anxiously wait to find out their professional home. Offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker is the only USC player expected to be taken in the first round. This page will update throughout the night with any Trojan selections and other USC-related news.
New York Jets, Pick 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL
Alijah Vera-Tucker is headed to New York. The New York Jets traded the 23rd overall pick and two third-round selections (66 and 86) to the Minnesota Vikings to move up to the 14th pick and secure the offensive lineman. In return, the Jets also receive a fourth-round pick (143).
Vera-Tucker started all six games at left tackle for USC in 2020, switching from his previous position at guard in 2019. His versatility makes him an interchangeable piece.
Vera-Tucker heard his name called at home in Oakland, Calif., surrounded by family and friends.
In 2020, the Trojan captain made the All-Pac-12 first team and won the 2020 Morris Trophy for top Pac-12 offensive lineman. Throughout his USC career, he played in 31 games, starting 19.
At USC’s Pro Day on March 24, the 6-foot-4, 308-pounder showcased his athleticism with a 5.10 40-yard dash, 4.61 shuttle and 7.65 cone drill. He jumped a 32-inch vertical and 8′10″ broad. On the bench, he pushed 36 reps.
Vera-Tucker joins the 2020 11th overall pick Mekhi Becton on the left side of the offensive line in defending Gang Green’s new quarterback, No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson from BYU.
ESPN Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini said it best: “This is a pick that marries need and value.”