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In prior draft analysis, I highlighted the importance of drafting a guard to protect rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. 

The Jets did just that on Thursday night, bringing in one of the best lineman prospects in the draft. 

New York moved up from the No. 23 pick, shipping two third-round picks to the Minnesota Vikings to draft guard Alijah Vera-Tucker 14th overall.

According to Pro Football Focus, Vera-Tucker is the highest-rated interior lineman prospect of this year's class. The USC product will pair nicely alongside tackles Mekhi Becton and George Fant, and potentially could slide over to tackle in the near future.

In 849 combined snaps between tackle and guard, Vera-Tucker allowed just two sacks. The Oakland native has the highest pass-blocking grade over the last two years in college football. 

He will certainly ease the pressure on Wilson, giving him more time to go through his progressions as he develops. The deal sends two third-rounders to the Vikings, but it's well worth it to grab the 2020 Morris Trophy Award winner, given to the best lineman in the Pac-12. 

Gang Green addressed two key positional needs in the first round. That said, Jets fans have to be pleased with the work of the front office on Day 1 of the draft. On Friday, the Jets will look to address needs at linebacker, running back, or cornerback with their second round pick (No. 34 overall).


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