2018 Cardinals Draft Profile
Name: Vita Vea
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 347 lbs
Projected: 1st round
Vita Vea is a mammoth human being who happens to show incredible athleticism. The Milpitas, CA man was a major grab for Washington and coach Chris Peterson. The defensive lineman played three seasons for the Huskies and became a terrorizing force in the offensively minded Pac-12. Vea was named to the second team All-Pac-12 in 2016 and first team in 2017. He was also named to the second team All-America in 2017 by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, and The Athletic, in addition to the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Whether running a three or four man front, a defense needs solid interior linemen to both stuff running lanes and collapse the pocket. Vita Vea is a physically imposing player who is talented and athletic enough to be a force inside for any team lucky enough to select him. The Cardinals have their end positions set with Markus Golden and Chandler Jones. The interior of the line will likely be manned by Corey Peters and Robert Nkemdiche. Vea would be in immediate contention for one of the interior line spots. Imagine a more explosive Haloti Ngata. The former Washington man has the potential to be a consistent Pro Bowl player and would turn an already tough Arizona defense into a terrorizing force in the NFC West.
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Vea already possesses ideal size for an NFL nose/defensive tackle. Has the strength to get arm extension while engaged with blocker and athleticism to toss them aside. Able to play two-gap game inside. Sheer size can deter runners. Often overpowers smaller linemen and dominates centers in 1v1 situations. Shows superb hip movement to get pads level in proper placement and disengage blockers. Does well holding blockers up and moving them to locate the ball carrier. Very good pursuit for a player his size. Shows the ability to get better at pass rushing. Tremendous bull rush that is difficult to slow down. Has much more room to grow as a player.
Footwork needs to improve. Inconsistent footwork causes balance issues. Will need to get better at recognizing blocking schemes and where double teams are coming from. Needs to improve working against double teams. Will not be an edge rusher as he does not have the foot quickness to win outside. Until he becomes an effective pass rusher, teams will view him as a run first defender.