Originally owned by the Kansas City Chiefs, the #31 pick now belongs to the Baltimore Ravens after they traded Orlando Brown to the Chiefs for a slew of draft picks. With an additional draft pick, and a glaring hole at tackle now, the Ravens should heavily consider taking a tackle at this spot.
Per the On Tap Sports Net crew, the guys have the Ravens selecting University of Southern California product Alijah Vera-Tucker as the pick at #31.
Vera-Tucker’s biggest strength, and attribute that gives him the most intrigue of any lineman in this draft, is his versatility. Vera-Tucker spent time at both guard and tackle in college, succeeding at both positions. In this case, we are examining the USC prospect as a tackle given the Ravens’ needs, but he can play guard too if needed.
Vera-Tucker is a road grader, comparing to New York Giants’ guard Will Hernandez by NFL.com. He shapes up as a perfect player for what the Ravens want to do. They’re a heavy run team, with the likes of J.K. Dobbins and Lamar Jackson, and can benefit from a player who’s style fits their team. Vera-Tucker is excellent on double teams, getting to the second level, and being a wall for the skill players.
On top of that, Vera-Tucker locks up well, has quality athleticism, and has quality technique for the position. His hands are violent, locking on and never letting go of opposing rushers. Vera-Tucker is also never afraid to be aggressive, as he has the ability to recover if a rusher is able to cross his face.
Vera-Tucker is a solid prospect, and one of the most polarizing offensive line prospects in the NFL Draft. Some analysts have him going top-15 in the draft and others have him going later in the first, early in the second-round. Some of the reasoning may lie in his weaknesses.
Vera-Tucker’s weaknesses are mostly bad habits. What that means is with quality coaching, Vera-Tucker’s weaknesses can become strengths, or good enough to be a quality NFL lineman. Some of his issues include pad level, explosion, and footwork. With great coaching, which the Ravens have plenty of, Vera-Tucker can quickly clean up some of his flaws and become a dominant player for the Ravens.
The Ravens have an excellent history of drafting offensive lineman. In recent years, the Ravens took both Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown in the first three rounds. Both have developed into elite offensive linemen thanks to being a part of the Ravens organization. Other names such as Ryan Jensen and Kelechi Osemele have been Ravens’ draft picks, having immense NFL success.
Overall, Vera-Tucker’s weaknesses shouldn’t be a large concern for a team like the Ravens. Their track record proves he can be developed into an elite offensive lineman.
Originally, the On Tap Sports Net crew had Alijah Vera-Tucker as the pick for the Kansas City Chiefs. That said, with the exit of Orlando Brown, this pick still makes plenty of sense for the Ravens. Vera-Tucker may have projected more as a guard in Kansas City, but tackle is a safe assumption for his place within the Ravens’ offense.
The USC product would be a perfect second selection in the first-round for the Baltimore Ravens. After adding to an aging defensive line with Carlos Basham, the Ravens can add a solid offensive lineman to not only replace Brown, but develop into the type of player that will enable the Ravens to have a ton of success in 2021 and beyond.