The defense had been the focus of our 2021 NFL Draft prospect spotlight series, but the Las Vegas Raiders have never been strangers to bucking the trend.
That’s why we looked at Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw as our first offensive prospect, and today we’ll be looking at USC tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Unique in that he started both at left guard and left tackle during his time as a Trojan, Tucker is a standout guard and tackle prospect.
That versatility could work for a team like the Raiders, who could be looking for multiple new starters on the offensive line.
Tackle Trent Brown and guard Richie Incognito both could be cut candidates after each suffered through injury-plagued 2020 seasons.
Tucker could potentially fill either of those spots, having been the ninth-ranked guard by Pro Football Focus (PFF) in 2019 and the 33rd best tackle last year.
His biggest strength comes in his run blocking, which plays into his experience at guard. For a Raiders team that loves to run the ball, he could fight right into that identity.
Tucker is not considered to be as strong of a pass blocker, which will be important to consider for teams that might make him a full-time tackle.
Tucker, though, has proven to be above average at both guard and tackle, a quality that isn’t easy to find.
Tucker has been moving up in mock drafts in recent weeks, so it’s not a guarantee that he would last till the 17th overall pick.
If he does, he’s a piece the Raiders could move all around their offensive line.
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