Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr recently produced a checklist of the AFC’s most underrated players (a person per workforce) and for the Jets, that was next-calendar year RG Alijah Vera-Tucker.
“Whilst AVT was a first-round decide on, we will not typically believe of him as one particular of the NFL’s elite offensive linemen,” Orr wrote. “At least not but, which qualifies him (in my brain) for a post about underrated players. The conclude of his 2021 time solidified as a lot in my thoughts. I am not likely to faux to take credit score for this. Here’s an outstanding reduce up of his functionality from the Buccaneers which completely blew me absent.
“I was steady in saying that the hiring of John Benton as operate recreation coordinator and offensive line mentor was 1 of the Jets’ most important hires considering the fact that Invoice Callahan. This highlights all the approaches in which Benton can mold a prospect for the outdoors-zone program. I also rewatched some of Vera-Tucker from the Saints to see how he fared versus a genuinely elite entrance and came away amazed. There’s no question he has the mass, the toughness and the athleticism. What is lacking now is only the quantifiable team success.”
Vera-Tucker, the No. 14 total assortment in 2021 out of USC, performed the most snaps on offense final year (1,026). He began 16 online games at LG. In 2022, he’ll engage in right guard after the Environmentally friendly & White included Pro Bowl LG Laken Tomlinson in free company. The Jets like AVT’s flexibility — he performed the two guard positions and left tackle in college.
“1st off, I was hyped about it,” Vera-Tucker explained soon after he received a cell phone contact from general supervisor Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh instantly just after the Jets signed Tomlinson from San Francisco. “The male coming in is from the very same offense, he played in the Tremendous Bowl. Which is why they have brought him in. They asked me about going to correct guard and I instantly explained indeed. I did it at USC, so at this place I am applied to it.
“It is just a issue of footwork and currently being in a position to change plays in your head. When I get it down it will get a pair of weeks, but I’m obtaining more relaxed about this. This is not like heading from guard to tackle, it really is not a major deal for me and I did not treat it that way.”