6’4, 347 pounds
Arm Length: 32 5/8″
Hand Size: 10″
(Rank among position in parentheses)
Bench Press: 41 (2nd)
40 Yard Dash: 5.1
Vea has ideal size for an NFL defensive tackle. His strength allows him to often win the line of scrimmage, and push around smaller and weaker offensive linemen. He has good technique but is inconsistent in using it. Vea’s bull rush could be a lethal weapon in the NFL and will allow him to be a three-down lineman. He is good rushing the passer, but he shines in the run game.
Vea uses his strong base and good hands to cause disruption and close gaps by himself. He will often command multiple blockers to keep him at bay, and even then, there is a high chance he will get penetration. He played outside, inside, one-tech and three-tech in college. For a man of his size, Vea moves well and pursues the ball carrier better than most defensive linemen. Vea has excellent football IQ and can use more than brute strength to win his battles.
Vea is still a very raw talent. His play is inconsistent, some plays he dominated three blockers, and others he doesn’t make an impact. Since Vea usually can brute force his way through most encounters, he often overuses his power. Vea has good hands and technique, but he often defaults to using pure strength and gets beaten by better linemen. Vea often plays with his pad level too high. His initial burst off of the line of scrimmage is occasionally lacking.
Vea slides right into the 4-3 defensive tackle position for the Colts next to Jonathan Hankins. The Colts’ run defense, although serviceable last year, ranked 25th in the NFL. Vea immediately slots in and will help stuff inside runs, and open up gaps for linebackers to make plays on the ball. The Colts would only acquire Vea is they traded back since defensive line is not a huge need.
Vita Vea has only scratched the surface of the potential that he could unlock. All of Vea’s issues are easily correctable with the right coaching. He is a raw talent with untapped potential, yet he already has plenty of discernable skills. Although Vea’s best position is as a 4-3 defensive tackle, he could become a good nose tackle or even defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Vea’s floor is a solid starting NFL nose tackle, with a ceiling of an All-Pro defensive lineman.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_ and @FPC_Colts.