Pro Football Focus released its latest mock draft of the 2021 NFL on Monday, sending the Bears a household name at 20th overall that would help generate an increase in offensive production almost instantly.
And no, he’s not a quarterback.
Instead, PFF sends Bears USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker.
“Vera-Tucker impressed as a left guard with an overall rating of 78.8 and a pass blocking rating of 87.9 during the 2019 season at USC,” wrote PFF’s Ben Linsey. “He followed that up last season by showing he could do it at left tackle with an even better 81.8 PFF rating in 2020.
“His 32-inch arms will probably pigeonhole him at guard position in the NFL, but Vera-Tucker at least showed he’s capable of tackling if necessary. It would drive an offensive line in Chicago that requires additional talent, particularly on the right side. “
Vera-Tucker is a popular target for the Bears in draft drills. He’s Chicago’s second most mocked player, according to the NFL’s Mock Draft database, and it would be a choice that would make a lot of sense.
The Bears have needs on the offensive line. In fact, it has become an annual problem for the offense. Even when the offensive line seems established, something goes wrong. Injuries, bad play … something.
Not only would Vera-Tucker be the Bears’ most talented (or close to) lineman, but he would also be one of the most versatile. You can play outside or inside; Wherever Chicago needs you, you can start. That’s a huge advantage for any prospect’s draft actions and it’s a big reason he’ll likely be off the board before the Bears are on the clock.