Buccaneers’ Vea Ranked NFL’s 11th Best DL


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost a few defensive linemen recently via free agency. This has led the front office to re-tool the unit through free agency and the draft. But let’s be honest, the Bucs’ defensive line is led by one man and one man alone. Defensive tackle Vita Vea. But where does he rank leaguewide at his position?

USA Today’s Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar recently dropped his “The NFL’s 11 best interior defensive linemen” article, and Vea just made the cut.

Farrar on Vea,

“You’re about to see a lot of linemen with absolutely astonishing speed and agility for their size, and we might as well start with Vea. The Buccaneers’ defense was problematic overall in the 2022 season, ranking 13th in DVOA and 25th in Weighted DVOA (which skews to the end of the season), but it was a lot better when Vea was in there. The Bucs had a better pressure rate, sack rate, blown block pressure rate, blown block sack rate, and yards after contact average when Vea was on the field.”

“The 6-foot-4, 347-pound Vea had eight sacks, seven quarterback hits, 23 quarterback hurries, and 19 stops in just 14 games last season, and one must pay particular attention to the ways in which Vea was able to just demolish double-teams. Yes, size is part of the equation here, but Vea stands above the pack, and requires extra attention, because he brings a fearsome blend of leverage and technique to those double-teams. When you and your buddy on the offensive line are responsible for No. 50, it’s going to be a long day for both of you.”

Farrar also touched on Vea’s penchant for using his bull-rush to dominate against the run.

“When Vea is on point against your run game, you can execute all the slides you want, and he’ll bull through all of them.” Farrar later added, “A fully healthy Vea would be quite the load for every offense the Bucs face in the 2023 season.”

The Buccaneers added defensive lineman Greg Gaines via free agency and drafted defensive lineman Calijah Kancey this offseason. Look for them to benefit from Vea’s dominance sooner than later.

Do you think Vea’s ranking here is fair? Are there 10 players better than him at his position in the league? Let us know.

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