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  For the second straight season, USC has produced a first-round draft pick on its offensive line. On Thursday, Trojans lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker was selected by the New York Jets with the No. 14 pick in the NFL Draft. He follows his predecessor at left tackle, Austin Jackson, as first-round picks in consecutive years. Jackson was selected 18th overall in 2020 by the Miami Dolphins. The Jets traded up for the opportunity to select Vera-Tucker. New York traded the No. 23 overall pick and two third-round selections to the Minnesota Vikings to move up to No. 14 and pick the Trojan to protect quarterback Zach Wilson, the former BYU standout they selected with the second pick Thursday night.

"Who doesn't want to block for someone like that?" Vera-Tucker asked rhetorically during a Zoom call with reporters following the selection. He added that he spoke to the Jets a few times during the draft process. "Whatever the coaches need me to do, (I will) come in and do and build a great relationship with the O-line because communication is key up front." Vera-Tucker considered leaving school following his sophomore season in 2019 after starting all 13 games at left guard and earning All-Pac-12 second-team honors. But he decided to return to USC to develop himself further as a draft prospect in his junior season. - Orange County Register

(DS#2 OG) rJr/2021 OG *Alijah Vera-TuckerSouthern California
News Source: Orange County Register



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