USC coach Clay Helton has a lofty comparison for new Jets guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, whom Helton coached for the last three years.
“I think he’s in the mold of Quenton Nelson, having played him for years,” Helton told The Post.
That would be Nelson, the Colts guard who has been All-Pro in each of his first three seasons and has established himself as the best guard in football.
No pressure, Alijah.
Helton makes the comparison to Nelson, whom he faced in the USC-Notre Dame game every year, because he believes Vera-Tucker possesses some of the same traits.
“His versatility is what stands out to me first,” Helton said. “I think he’s going to be a special interior player at guard with elite athleticism and feet. He has that tackle athleticism that’s elite at guard, but if you get in a pinch in a game or a season, you could always move him back out to tackle.”
The Jets traded up in the first round from No. 23 to 14 to take Vera-Tucker, surrendering two third-round picks in the process. The trade has drawn some criticism from those who believe GM Joe Douglas gave up too much to move up to take a guard. If Vera-Tucker lives up to the billing that his college coaches give him, though, no one will remember the price the Jets paid.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Quenton NelsonAP (2)
Tim Drevno was Vera-Tucker’s offensive line coach at USC.…