New York Jets GM Joe Douglas gives insight as to why he traded up for USC OG Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Last night, the New York Jets moved up from their 23rd overall selection to the 14th spot to draft USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. The Jets sent picks 23, 66, and 86 overall to the Minnesota Vikings for picks 14 and 143 overall.
While some have considered this an overpay, general manager Joe Douglas gave sound reasoning behind his decision.
“We’re always going to try to be strong up front”
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) April 30, 2021
Due to the pandemic, there were concerns that the shortened collegiate season would cause trouble as we approached the NFL draft. As it turns out, that wariness rang true for the Jets and Joe Douglas.
With Douglas believing that there would be more fool’s gold than treasure in the middle rounds, he went out and acquired what he felt was a top-10 player left on his board.
Douglas has preached his belief in building a football team from the inside out, and this offseason he’s been able to put his money where his mouth is.
“We’re always going to try to be strong up front,” Douglas told the media Thursday night.
The Jets completely upgraded their defensive line in free agency while also signing a couple of rotational offensive line pieces during free agency, and Vera-Tucker should provide a stable anchor on the interior – where the Jets most desperately needed an upgrade.
The promise that eluded Douglas previously is the promise kept now that BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is under center. Moves like this should instill confidence in the fan base going forward, appreciating the sudden competency that’s been missing in years past.