By CBSNewYork Team

(CBSNewYork)- After selecting quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Jets moved back up in the first round to add some protection for him. The organization made a trade with the Minnesota Vikings to move up to pick No. 14 and select guard Alijah Vera-Tucker out of the University of Southern California.

Vera-Tucker was a two-year starter and three year player for the Trojans along the offensive line. As a redshirt freshman in 2018, he played in 12 games as a reserve before taking over as a starter in 2019. He earned second team All-Pac-12 honors in that season starting 13 games at left guard. After initially opting out of the 2020 season, Vera-Tucker opted back in and started all six of the Trojans’ games earning first team honors in the process.

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NFL.com draft prospect evaluator Lance Zierlein compared Vera-Tucker to New York Giants offensive lineman Will Hernandez. He noted that his play at left tackle in 2020 could convince an NFL team to play him there in the league but, with the Jets already having Mekhi Becton in place, that will be unnecessary.

Vera-Tucker joins a Jets offense that added play makers this offseason in wide receiver Corey Davis and running back Tevin Coleman. The organization is looking to make life as easy as possible for Wilson, who now will have two first round picks protecting him on the offensive line.

Becton made sure to let the rookie know on Thursday night that he’ll be welcoming him into the league with some tasks for him.

CBSNewYork Team