Shopping Cart

Deep Dive on Alijah Vera-Tucker’s Week 1 performance

Alijah Vera-Tucker Jets practice helmet on

Alijah Vera-Tucker Jets practice helmet on

While a lot of the focus was on Zach Wilson’s debut, he wasn’t the only first-round pick making his first regular season appearance for the Jets on Sunday.

Alijah Vera-Tucker’s first career start was especially anticipated, though, because he didn’t see any action in preseason, so this was the first opportunity to see him in real game action in a Jets uniform.

Let’s break down how he performed…

1st quarter, 14:03. Jets facing 3rd-and-1 at their own 34.

Looking to avoid going three-and-out on their first series, the Jets immediately showed confidence in their first round rookie, by running directly behind him to pick up the first down. With an assist from center Connor McGovern, Vera-Tucker locked onto veteran DaQuan Jones with his pad level low and his hands inside to drive him three yards off the line. This just gave Tevin Coleman enough room to get to the marker despite Greg Van Roten being stood up at the point of attack.

1st quarter, 3:10. Jets facing 3rd-and-2 at their own 23.

Despite the confidence boost from converting the earlier short yardage situation running behind Vera-Tucker, they took a different approach the next time. On this play, Vera-Tucker pulled right and blocked defensive tackle Bravvion Roy to the ground as he penetrated into the backfield. This was an athletic and powerful block that cleared a lane for Michael Carter to get the conversion, although it required a tough second effort from the back after McGovern allowed his man to penetrate.

3rd quarter, 12:37. Jets 1st-and-10 at midfield.

It wasn’t all positive from Vera-Tucker in the running game, though, as he had a welcome-to-the-NFL moment in the second half. On a reverse to Elijah Moore – technically on a pop-pass rather than a running play – Vera-Tucker was tasked with pulling left to get out in front of his fellow rookie. Unfortunately, Haason Reddick read this all the way and lit up Vera-Tucker to land him on his back. With one less blocker out in front, Moore ended up losing three yards on the play.

2nd quarter, 10:40. Jets facing 2nd-and-8 from their own 11.

It’s not just in the running game that Vera-Tucker will be expected to make key contributions this year. He’ll also play a key role in keeping Wilson upright. He did that well on Wilson’s first big completion of the day; a 35-yard Corey Davis catch-and-run. Vera-Tucker repelled the bull rush and the counter move from rookie Daviyon Nixon, extending his arms with good technique to buy Wilson extra time.

4th quarter, 3:28. Jets facing 3rd-and-8 from their own 25.

Vera-Tucker did allow some pressure over the course of the game, including a few times on the late drive that pulled the Jets within five. However, this play was a rare example of him getting cleanly beaten. Initially, he did well to slow up Yetur Gross-Matos’ interior rush. However, the former Penn State star won the hand fighting battle to free himself from the block and get a clean run at Wilson, whose deep pass under heavy pressure fell incomplete. Vera-Tucker showed an ability to recover to the inside and anchor against a bull rush in this game, but he’ll need to keep working on those hand placement techniques now that he’ll be facing more skilled pass rushers each week.

4th quarter, 2:59. Jets 1st-and-10 at midfield.

There were times during the game where you could tell the Jets still need to establish chemistry on the defensive line, as there were a couple of mix-ups including one with Mekhi Becton that led to a pressure and one on a stunt where Vera-Tucker and McGovern each allowed their man to get to Wilson to share a sack. However, here was an example of the line working well together. Vera-Tucker was beaten, with Morgan Fox swatting his hands away to gain clean separation, but this time McGovern came across to cover for the rookie, enabling Wilson to complete a long pass to Denzel Mims.

In summary, Vera-Tucker experienced the ups and downs you would generally expect from a rookie in their first game – especially one who missed preseason. There were a few plays here he can learn from and hopefully he’ll gain confidence from how the offense showed improvements in the second half. Once the line develops some better chemistry, this will put Vera-Tucker in a better position to make consistent contributions and it should be interesting to see him develop over the course of the season.

Read more:

Prepare For Power Outages
DELTA 1300 Power Station
DELTA 1300 Power Station
Price: $1,399.00
EFDELTA can power 13 devices simultaneously: 6x AC OUTLETS: Fridge, TV, Light, Fry Pan, Blender, and Coffee Machine; 2x 60W USB-C: MacBook Pro and Nintendo Switch; 4x USB-A: Smart Phones, Speaker and Tablets; 1x 13.6V CARPORT: Car Fridge or Vacuum Cleaner.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.