Alijah Vera-Tucker’s New York Jets debut was a roller-coaster ride
In his first-ever NFL appearance – having missed all three of the New York Jets‘ preseason games – Alijah Vera-Tucker looked like the typical first-round rookie.
Flashes of the elite talent that made Vera-Tucker a top-15 pick were aplenty, but so were the rookie mistakes that you would expect from a 22-year-old who had never played a professional game.
Vera-Tucker enjoyed an excellent performance in the run game, consistently executing his assignments in dominant fashion despite the complete lack of run-blocking competence from those around him. Pro Football Focus awarded him with a 74.2 run-blocking grade, ranking ninth-best among 65 qualified guards in Week 1.
The passing game was another story. Vera-Tucker was at the core of the Jets’ much-maligned pass protection woes in front of Zach Wilson, leading the team with six pressures allowed. That ranked as the sixth-most among guards in Week 1.
Vera-Tucker’s film shows a player who is loaded with talent but still has some things to iron out before he can fully tap into it. We dive into a dozen plays from his NFL debut below.