2018 Raiders Draft Profile
Name: Vita Vea
Position: Defensive Tackle
Projected: Rounds 1-2
Pigeon-holing Vita Vea as a traditional nose tackle is a disservice to the Washington behemoth’s true capabilities. When a defender draws routine double (even triple) teams from offensive linemen, tradition vanishes
Blessed with great lower and upper body strength, Vea stands his ground in the run game and can collapse the pocket as a pass rusher. He also has deceiving quickness as he can burst out of the stance. As the anchor to Washington’s stingy run defense, Vita earned the Pac-12 defensive player of the year nod. His three-year career at Washington saw him rack up 99 total tackles (15 for loss), 9.5 sacks, five pass deflections, and two forced fumbles.
“As I begin the next chapter of my football career, I will never forget where it all began,” Vita wrote in a post. “The University of Washington is a special place … I cherish every game I was able to play in purple and gold.”
When was the last time the Oakland Raiders had an immovable object at defensive tackle? Sam Adams and Ted Washington, perhaps? While much is going to be made of having three techniques that can get upfield and terrorize the quarterback, Vita would bring in an engulfing monster in the middle capable of drawing massive attention that can wreck a passing game. Attention drawn by Vita is less for Khalil Mack. In addition, that is always a good thing. He will also keep the linebackers clean by occupying blockers.
Size, strength, and quickness from the get-go are outstanding. Additionally, Vea uses his frame and power well and can dominate and push around offensive linemen. Very heavy tackle who is a foundation piece against the run and has the giddy up to get after the quarterback. Block eater who excels in gap discipline. Motor is commensurate with size as he displays good tenacity and second effort.
Must develop counter moves and additional pass rush techniques. In that case, Vea relies heavily on bull rushe.s When that does not work, he gets lost in the wash. Can play too high at times, allowing linemen to get underneath him rendering him less effective. Despite strength, opponents break Vea’s arm tackles, as his grasp is not as impressive as his overall tackling ability.
Given these points, Vita Vea could provide the Raiders with an anchor in the middle of their defensive line. Although the team could draft other positions of need, Vea makes sense. In order to stop Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt from bid days, the Raiders need a monster inside.