Jets LG Alijah Vera-Tucker was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team.
Vera-Tucker, selected No. 14 overall out of USC, led the offense with 1,026 snaps and started 16 games this season, the most among starters on offense.
"There's always room for improvement," he told team reporter Eric Allen. "From what I can say now, without looking at every game, I'd say the pass protection, I want to get better. There are strengths and weaknesses. In the run game, I'm always going to be violent, as I was able to show this season. Definitely pass protection and perfecting my craft as much as I can in this offseason."
Vera-Tucker's 67.2 Pro Football Focus grade ranked second among rookie guards who took 80% of their team's snaps. His 2 sacks allowed ranked first and his 6 hits and 34 pressures ranked second. He also had a better grade in the run game than in pass protection. His 72.1 PFF run-blocking grade ranked 10th among 40 qualifying left guards.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network's lead draft analyst, ranked AVT No. 22 on his list of the top 25 rookies, the second-ranked guard.
"The Jets made a concerted effort to bolster their offensive line in the last two drafts, and Vera-Tucker looks like a fabulous building block," Jeremiah wrote. "He is outstanding working to the second level and can easily anchor in pass protection."
Vera-Tucker is one of nine rookies in the Green & White's 2021 class that has paid off immediate dividends for the team, forming a young nucleus of Jets. Entering Year 2, AVT enjoys OC Mike LaFleur's outside-zone scheme coached up by run-game coordinator John Benton.
"Personally, I like how fast you have to be," he said. "You can't be slow coming off the ball at the first or second level. The first step is everything. I like playing that way, so far I'm loving it and excited about it."