Alijah Vera-Tucker

Vikings Trade No. 14 Pick To Jets; Jets Take Alijah Vera-Tucker

It’s shaping up to be a big night for the Jets. After selecting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson No. 2 overall, the Jets have traded back up to snag the Vikings’ No. 14 overall pick. In the process, they’ve leapfrogged Bill Belichick and the Patriots, who were unable to move up from No. 15.

With the 14th pick, the Jets selected USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. The choice wasn’t met with much of a reaction from the crowd in Cleveland, but GM Joe Douglas was practically doing cartwheels. A darling of scouts across the league, Vera-Tucker has been lauded for his versatility and hard-nosed playing style.

AVT was already considered a top offensive guard prospect heading into the 2020 season, but he added even more intrigue following a successful transition to tackle. After earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2019, he made a jump to the first team in 2020. He also earned the Morris Trophy this past season, awarded to the best OL/DL in the Pac 12 (as voted by players).

Vera-Tucker lacks elite athleticism, which means his future will probably be on the interior. Either way, his high-IQ play style and versatility should make him a contributor for the Jets right off the bat.

Here’s the full breakdown of the deal that brought Vera-Tucker to the east coast:

Vikings Receive

  • Pick No. 23
  • Pick No. 66
  • Pick No. 86

Jets Receive

  • Pick No. 14
  • Pick No. 143

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Trade Rumors: Bears, Falcons, Bengals

Here’s a few of the latest draft rumors, with a focus on teams that could be moving up or down the board in the first round:

  • The Bears, who hold the No. 20 overall pick, have been rumored as a team that could be climbing up the draft board to grab a QB, but as Albert Breer of SI.com writes, they haven’t been particularly active in trade discussions just yet. A lot can happen in a week, and Breer says rival clubs do expect Chicago to at least consider a bold trade to land a top passer. On the other hand, such a deal will be very expensive in terms of draft capital, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune hears from some sources that GM Ryan Pace might try to protect his draft assets to fill his club’s multiple needs. Still, Pace’s job and HC Matt Nagy‘s job are very much in jeopardy, and unless the duo is particularly high on a second-tier QB like Florida’s Kyle Trask, expect the team to exhaust all possible avenues for a trade up.
  • The Falcons may be open to all options when it comes to their No. 4 overall pick, but Breer is getting the sense that Atlanta is perfectly content to stay right where it is. Whether the Falcons take a QB with that pick or the top non-QB prospect in the draft remains an open question, but they have put a very high price on their selection, and it sounds like they will need to be overwhelmed by a trade offer to move it.
  • The buzz around the Bengals has pointed towards the team keeping its No. 5 overall pick and selecting LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase. Director of player personnel Duke Tobin said that he has engaged in talks with teams looking to move up to No. 5, but he wants to stay put and select a premier talent (Twitter link via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com).
  • Other teams are expecting the Dolphins to keep the No. 6 selection, but GM Chris Grier says that he will continue listening to trade offers up until the pick is in (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). If he does get an offer that convinces him to move down, he won’t want to slide too far.
  • Connor Hughes of The Athletic says Jets GM Joe Douglas could try to engineer a trade up from the No. 23 overall pick, especially if an OL like Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater or USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker should start to fall. However, he doesn’t see Douglas moving into the top-15.