A recent FanNation mock draft sends USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker to Indianapolis. In a special Mock Draft Monday, draft experts examine how the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft could shape up with just a few months to go.
FanNation's Eric Herauf believes that USC's best offensive lineman could be headed to the Colts as the No.21 pick.
Herauf writes, "one of the biggest question marks the Colts will face this offseason is who will line up under center. Philip Rivers retired, Jacoby Brissett is a pending free agent and they are definitely out of the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes. There is no quarterback in this scenario worthy of this selection. Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo also retired this offseason, leaving them with a hole in the trenches."
If Alijah Vera-Tucker landed with the Indianapolis Colts, he would join former USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. who debuted an impressive rookie campaign in 2020. Pittman Jr. was drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft as the No.34 overall pick.
This season Pittman Jr. played in 13 games, had 40 receptions, 503 yards and one touchdown. He showed some positive moments connecting well with QB Philip Rivers. Pittman Jr.'s one touchdown of the 2020 season was against the Green Bay Packers. He finished the game with three receptions and 66 yards.
Having both Vera-Tucker and Pittman Jr. on the same offense, could make for an exciting 2021 season.
Although USC has seven players entering the 2021 NFL Draft, USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker's resume is arguably the strongest. His versatility is what sets him apart. Vera-Tucker played both tackle and guard during his time at USC and showed tremendous strength and athleticism in Graham Harrell's pass heavy offense.
His experience playing both positions makes him more valuable as a potential NFL prospect, as teams who need help at either position could select him. Having one player that can fill multiple roles is invaluable for any elite offense.
His decision to opt back in for the 2020 college football season when the Pac-12 resumed play was smart and undoubtedly helped his draft stock. After USC lost starting left tackle Austin Jackson to the NFL, Vera-Tucker stepped up to fill the offensive void.
His contributions at the left tackle position helped him earn First Team All Pac-12 honors, the Morris Trophy, USC's 5-1 record and shot at the Pac-12 title. The redshirt junior also exemplified leadership this season, as AVT was one of Troy's four team captains in 2020.
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