Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, a very talented player whom the Denver Broncos could use.
- Height: 6-foot-4
- Weight: 300 pounds
- Has starting experience at both guard and tackle, a plus for his overall value
- Has the requisite traits to play either position, though he may be best suited inside at guard
- Enough traits to work in any scheme
- Plenty of athleticism
- Wins early in the rep because of the athleticism, paired with solid technique and power
- While lacking great power, he has enough driving force to really work the point of attack with enough sand in his pants to drop and anchor
- Appears to have high football IQ to recognize pass rush quickly
- Decisively goes to combat the rush, especially with delayed blitzes and twists/stunts
- Strikes with force and with a purpose and will stun defenders
- Hand technique will need refinement
- Hands tend to slide outside of the opponent's frame, opening him up to holding calls
- Needs to get stronger at the point of attack, though his current strength isn't crippling
- If tapped to play tackle, there will need to be work done on his footwork and getting proper depth in his pass sets
- Needs to learn to keep his hands up and ready as he tends to drop them, opening himself up to counters.
There is a reason why Vera-Tucker is one of my favorite prospects in this draft class. He has the ability to play any of the five spots on the offensive line, though I wouldn’t put him at center just because of what he can do elsewhere.
Fit with Broncos
Having the versatility to slide out to tackle would do wonders for the burgeoning Broncos' O-line. All the traits that Vera-Tucker has points to a successful NFL career as a great-level offensive lineman for 10-15 years.
Vera-Tucker isn’t a perfect prospect, but the athleticism he has can cover up a lot of issues he has while he works on them and develops those areas of his game.
Grade: Round 1
Where he Goes: Round 1
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!