Buccaneers’ Vea Named to ESPN’s Top-10 Defensive Tackles

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive tackle Vita Vea recently signed a four-year $71 million dollar contract extension 2026.

So where does Vea rank amongst NFL defensive tackles? Thankfully ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently released his Top-10 Defensive Tackles heading into the 2022 NFL season.

Fowler places Vea as the seventh-best defensive tackle in the NFL, here’s his reasoning,

“Some voters label Vea a two-down player, more of a traditional nose tackle. And yes, his total of 581 snaps in 16 games last year is considered low among top interior players, many of whom logged at least 700. But Vea is still impactful anytime he takes the field.”

“The way he can manhandle centers and can also play on third down and be effective when fresh really impresses me,” stated an NFC exec who had Vea in the top three. “I wouldn’t want to go against him.”

“Vea logged 33 tackles and 4.5 sacks with a 10.5% pass rush win rate from the interior (16th among defensive tackles) last year. He has always been a stout run-stopper throughout his career, too. His 38.8% run stop win rate since 2019 ranks him among the top 15 defensive linemen.”

“He’s a top guy for me, and it’s not that close,” an NFL scouting coordinator said. “He’s got raw power that you can’t teach.”

 

Seventh-best seems like a low ranking for Vea. His impact on the field for the Buccaneers is unquestioned. Vea doesn’t really play the position the way most defensive tackles in the NFL do. The defensive tackle position in today’s league is more of a pass rushing one. Vea’s game is more inline with that of a traditional nose tackle. Clogging up the middle, splitting double teams, that’s what Vea does. And he does that better than anyone and hasn’t even reached his full potential.

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