ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF: Cardinals select OL Alijah Vera-Tucker in latest mock draft

Mar 16, 2021, 11:29 AM | Updated: 11:40 am

(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)


The Arizona Cardinals got some help on the defensive line this offseason by signing J.J. Watt, but Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger doesn’t think general manager Steve Keim is done adding reinforcement to the trenches.

In PFF’s latest mock draft, Keim adds to the other side of the line, selecting USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 16th overall pick.

The Cardinals have their left tackle for the foreseeable future in D.J. Humphries, so a rookie at either guard spot would make plenty of sense. They could also explore a move to right tackle for the versatile offensive lineman. Vera-Tucker allowed just eight pressures on 305 pass-blocking snaps in 2020, so he would be a big boost for Kyler Murray’s offensive line.

Vera-Tucker was named to the All-Pac-12 team in 2020 and was awarded the Morris Trophy, which is given to the best offensive and defensive lineman in the conference.

According to PFF, In 2019 Vera-Tucker gave up no sacks and no quarterback hits. He allowed only six hurries and drew two penalties in 12 games.

Vera-Tucker’s primary position is at guard, but he played the majority of last season at left tackle. The Oakland native earned an 89.2-grade last season, the highest of all tackles in college football.

If the Cardinals have the opportunity to select Vera-Tucker and he was to play immediately it would most likely be at right guard. While Justin Pugh is currently the starter at left guard, J.R. Sweezy is a free agent. If Sweezy isn’t resigned, Vera-Tucker would most likely have to compete with Justin Murray for the right guard position.

Right tackle Kelvin Beachum is also an unrestricted free agent. With Beachum’s pending free agency and the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Gilbert’s return after he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, Vera-Tucker’s versatility and ability to move outside proved he can play tackle in a pinch if needed.

Vera-Tucker is ranked 30th on PFF’s prospect big board, making him the fourth highest-ranked tackle in the class and the highest-ranked guard.

Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses after getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals...

Tyler Drake

Marvin Harrison Jr. jerseys: Can Arizona Cardinals finally buy them?

Marvin Harrison Jr. signing his rookie contract simultaneously opened the door for Cardinals fans to secure the wide receiver's jersey.

9 hours ago

Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a pass during Cardinals rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign Marvin Harrison Jr. to 4-year contract

The Cardinals signed rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year option on Thursday.

14 hours ago

BJ Ojulari at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Growth of Arizona Cardinals’ BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams on display at OTAs

Second-year pros BJ Ojulari and Garrett Williams could be competing for significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

15 hours ago

Cardinals leadership and mental health awareness discussion...

Tyler Drake

Leading the right way: Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon host high school coaches for panel on uplifting athletes

A handful of Arizona Cardinals made time out of their day to discuss the value of the leadership with local high school coaches on Tuesday.

20 hours ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at L...

Character Counts

Kyler Murray makes championship match of charity chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't mind some chess in his spare time and he elevated that hobby on Wednesday.

1 day ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Has Kyler Murray checked all the boxes as an elite NFL QB?

It's a big season for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Burns & Gambo wonder if all the offseason work the QB's put in will help him take his game to the next level.

1 day ago

PFF: Cardinals select OL Alijah Vera-Tucker in latest mock draft