USC’s Ali Vera-Tucker deserves a have a look at left deal with


Main as much as the 2021 NFL draft, which begins April 29, Yahoo Sports activities will rely down our prime 100 total prospects. We’ll rely them down in teams of 5 for Nos. 100-51, adopted by extra in-depth experiences on our prime 50 gamers, with assist from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the suitable to make modifications to gamers’ grades and evaluations based mostly on damage updates, pro-day exercises or late-arriving data from NFL groups.

Different prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96 | 95-91 | 90-86 | 85-81 | 80-76 | 75-71 | 70-66 | 65-61 | 60-56 | 55-51 | 50. OT Liam Eichenberg | 49. WR Terrace Marshall Jr. | 48. LB Chazz Surratt | 47. EDGE Joe Tryon | 46. OT-OG Alex Leatherwood | 45. CB Asante Samuel Jr. | 44. DL Levi Onwuzurike | 43. LB Jabril Cox | 42. DT Daviyon Nixon | 41. EDGE Ronnie Perkins | 40. LB Nick Bolton | 39. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu | 38. WR Elijah Moore | 37. OT Jalen Mayfield | 36. EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. | 35. CB Elijah Molden | 34. RB Travis Etienne | 33. WR Kadarius Toney | 32. EDGE Jayson Oweh | 31. LB Zaven Collins | 30. DT Christian Barmore | 29. QB Mac Jones | 28. CB Caleb Farley | 27. RB Javonte Williams | 26. C-OG Landon Dickerson | 25. S Trevon Moehrig | 24. CB Greg Newsome II | 23. WR Rashod Bateman | 22. EDGE Greg Rousseau | 21. OT Christian Darrisaw | 20. RB Najee Harris | 19. LB-S Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | 18. EDGE Jaelan Phillips | 17. OT Teven Jenkins | 16. EDGE Kwity Paye | 15. CB Jaycee Horn | 14. OT-OG Rashawn Slater

Here's how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Here is how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports activities)

13. USC OT-OG Alijah Vera-Tucker

6-foot-5, 305 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 6.12 — doable speedy starter

TL;DR scouting report: Thick-bodied constant performer with excessive flooring who might be slid inside from left deal with

Video games watched: Notre Dame (2019), Iowa (2019), Arizona (2020), Utah (2020), Oregon (2020)

The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 176 nationally), Vera-Tucker picked the Trojans over just about each Pac-12 faculty — and lots of different massive packages. After redshirting his first season, Vera-Tucker performed 12 video games in reserve at proper guard in 2018. The following season, he earned the left guard function and began all 13 video games, incomes second-team all-Pac-12 and was named USC’s Offensive Lineman of the 12 months (over 2020 first-rounder Austin Jackson). After initially opting out for the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker rejoined the Trojans when the Pac-12 resumed play. He began all six video games and was named first-team all-conference. Following the season, Vera-Tucker declared for the 2021 NFL draft.

Upside: Thick, vast body. Good core energy and good pop in his higher physique. Seemed the half at his professional day — above-average to glorious numbers within the 40-yard sprint (5.10 seconds, 1.77-second 10-yard cut up), vertical bounce (32 inches), broad (106 inches), brief shuttle (4.63 seconds), 3-cone drill (7.70 seconds) and bench press (32 reps). Measured out a shade taller (6-foot-4 1/2) than some anticipated.

Fast and forceful off the snap. Generates fast energy in tight areas. Good drive blocker who works his decrease half effectively. Not a mauler, per se, however he exhibits some actual ending traits within the run sport. Comes along with his onerous hat on and is prepared to play ugly if wanted. Fluent in zone and hole runs.

Seemed pure at left deal with in 2020. Needed the possibility to play there and principally flipped aces. Quick palms give him an early edge — lands his punch and counter sometimes earlier than opponent may even strike. Good stability and management in his move units. Principally easy and in management along with his approach. Threw down just a few respectable anchors towards massive bull rushes. Good consciousness — spots bother shortly.

USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker performed better than expected at his pro day. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker carried out higher than anticipated at his professional day. (AP Photograph/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Strikes exterior higher than you’d assume for his girth. Shuffles effectively and works laterally with ease. Good short-side puller who turns the nook fairly effectively and is able to strike shifting targets.

Multi-positional versatility — beginning expertise in and out and might be tried at heart even. Has good soccer acumen, in keeping with the workers, and is a pushed participant intent on proving he ought to get a shot at left deal with.

Robust taking part in temperament — feisty and aggressive. Constant and dependable, sport to sport and snap to snap. Thought of to be a higher-floor prospect with upward mobility. Improved his draft inventory, even with a brief 2020 season.

Draw back: Brief body for a deal with — arm size (32 1/8 inches) and wingspan (76 7/8 inches) would put him close to the underside of all beginning NFL tackles. Small palms (9 5/8 inches). Got here in at 308 kilos at his professional day — was he greater in the course of the season? (Fake girth?)

Solely 19 profession begins — with six coming at left deal with. Many groups will strive him at guard first, and the lesser positional worth may push him down the board just a few picks.

Might be susceptible to wider rushes. A tad stiff and rushed in his method. Had a tough time with Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, a doable top-five decide in 2022, though most opponents did (and Vera-Tucker dealt with him higher than USC’s proper deal with did).

WIll play too upright and lose leverage. Will get too narrow-based vs. inside mass — can’t at all times anchor towards the most important of the large. Can lose protracted hand preventing. Lurches on some short-yardage blocks. Obtained handed up by the again on just a few pulls.

Greatest-suited vacation spot: We is likely to be within the minority right here, however strive him at deal with first. Possibly a yr from now we’re in a world the place offensive linemen who don’t have humpback-whale-flipper arm size can nonetheless play exterior. This class has quite a lot of prospects in that mildew, and Vera-Tucker is likely to be the very best of the lot.

May he make a tremendous guard? We expect so. However he simply put out 5.5 good sport tapes at left deal with, and we’d wish to see a bit extra.

We watched each Austin Jackson (2019) and Vera-Tucker (2020) play the identical spot the previous two years, and Vera-Tucker is only a higher, extra constant performer. We perceive the size issues for him, and if a transfer to protect is within the offing, so be it. Vera-Tucker has Professional Bowl potential there. We simply wouldn’t thoughts him being tried exterior.

Do you know: Vera-Tucker’s mother and father divorced when he was younger, and his final title is a portmanteau of his given title (Tucker) and his mom’s second husband (Sylvester Vera). Alijah wished to honor him for the function he performed in serving to elevate him. Each surnames are tattooed on every of his arms.

Participant comp: Joe Thuney

Anticipated draft vary: High-25 decide

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