The Las Vegas Raiders still need to address their offensive line, adding USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker would add versatility.
The biggest gaping hole along the Raiders’ offensive line is currently at right tackle. Trading away Trent Brown appeared to be a sure thing as the season ended but the team lacked a backup plan. Brandon Parker would be penciled in as the starter if the season started today. That’s not much of a long-term solution with all due respect. While some aren’t too keen on Vera-Tucker joining the Raiders, it could pay dividends in both the short and long term.
We saw what Tom Cable did last year after dealing with the injury bug all season long. The Raiders are surely hoping that 2021 is a different story since it all starts in the trenches. Richie Incognito’s back but realistically will only be around for a year or two considering his age and position. Denzelle Good was re-signed, another positive, as his own versatility will be needed. Drafting Vera-Tucker could possibly give the Silver and Black a starting right tackle next year.
He played left tackle for the USC Trojans last year and flourished. Another possibility with Vera-Tucker is him becoming the long-term replacement once Incognito retires. Per Pro Football Focus, Vera-Tucker was graded 81.8 overall at tackle with an impressive 84.2 pass-blocking grade as well. The are several possibilities if Vera-Tucker is indeed the pick at number 17.
Is there any buzz as far as Vera-Tucker and the Raiders?
ESPN’s Mel Kiper recently slated Vera-Tucker to the Raiders so the media also sees this as a possibility. More importantly, Kiper also believes that Vera-Tucker could play any position next year, whether it’s at guard or tackle.
“Vera-Tucker is my top-ranked guard, but he really came into his own while playing left tackle for the Trojans last season. He could play either spot for Las Vegas.”
Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter also noted that the Raiders are possibly becoming interested in the prospect of drafting Vera-Tucker. Whether you like the pick or not, Las Vegas will do as they see fit. Perhaps, adding depth and versatility to their offensive line outweighs the need for a pass rusher after adding Yannick Ngakoue.
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*Top Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Atlanta Journal-Constitution