Alijah Vera-Tucker, NY Jets
Alijah Vera-Tucker, New York Jets, Getty Images

Alijah Vera-Tucker will line up in a new spot for the New York Jets

Speaking to the media on Monday, March 28, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh announced some major news regarding his plans for the team’s starting offensive line.

Saleh says that second-year guard Alijah Vera-Tucker – who started at left guard as a rookie – will move over to the right guard position. Newly-signed Laken Tomlinson will take Vera-Tucker’s place at the left guard position.

“AVT has shown flexibility in college; he played tackle, he played guard; he’s got tremendous flexibility and he’s still a young pup,” Saleh said. “There’s a lot of things that he can learn.”

On Tomlinson, Saleh said, “Laken has had a lot of success at left guard in this league, he was a Pro Bowler last year, and it’s something that we just don’t want to mess with for him,” Saleh said. “AVT will be fine. He’s still young, there’s still things that he’s still learning, him doing it on the right side, he’s very, very athletic, he’ll be able to pick it up pretty quick.”

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Vera-Tucker last played right guard as a redshirt freshman with the USC Trojans in the 2018 season. Serving as a backup, Vera-Tucker played 141 offensive snaps at right guard over nine games (none of them being starts). He played, well giving up only one pressure in pass protection and committing no penalties. Vera-Tucker was just 19 years old at the time.

Tomlinson, 30, has played the overwhelming majority of his NFL snaps at left guard. Save for one start at right guard for the Detroit Lions in his second season (2016), Tomlinson played left guard in every one of his other 111 career appearances.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago

Wonderful move coach! At least he knows how to move these chess pieces!

BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
6 months ago

I think this is the right move. Laken is at the end of his career. AVT is at the beginning. Laken has proven he is one of the best left guards in the league by making the Pro Bowl this year. Let’s not mess with success. I really want Ikem at 4. He can play both OT and G in case someone goes down. Fant is gone next year. He can take over at a very cheap price.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
6 months ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

You would sit Fant in 22 in order to play Ickey at tackle? Or trade Fant (or Becton)? The only answer I think you’re not allowed is sit Ekwonu.

BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

That is an excellent question! However, I do sit Ekwonu if he is not ready to start and Fant beats him out in camp which could happen. Its okay to have great depth at the O-line position. I think of it this way: In 2010, the Giants with two great DE’s draft JPP with the 15th pick. NY Giants fans are so angry! How could they pick a DE when they don’t need one? Why? BPA. Fans mock draft for team needs. JPP starts 0 games in 2010. With injuries plaguing the Giants’ starting defensive ends, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, Pierre-Paul received a significant amount of playing time, including 12 starts. Pierre-Paul recorded 65 tackles, 16.5 sacks, one safety, and two forced fumbles during the 2011 season. I simply can’t stomach another year of our QB running for his life when the ball is snapped. We can cycle Ekwonu into the line to keep the other linemen fresh his rookie year. Very few teams have the same starting line up week 1 to week 17 due to injuries. I want the best o-line in the league.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

So waste a draft pick on a OL? Makes no sense

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

Drafting a lineman would cause a lot of issues, the tomlinson acquistion assures he plays on the line and we alrewdy have depth. Need a lockdown CB and Edge Rusher more than a lineman that might not even play

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago

I am surprised by this development. But I guess maybe I should not have been. To get a Pro Bowl LG we probably should have expected we had to make some concession.