Bucs defensive deal with Vita Vea earned his first Professional Bowl nod in 2021. Now, heading into 2022, he’s being thought of among the many league’s greatest at his place.
ESPN not too long ago surveyed greater than 50 NFL executives, coaches, scouts and gamers to assist rank the highest 10 gamers at 11 completely different positions. And in the case of defensive tackles, Vea is listed at No. 7. His highest rating was No. 3, whereas the bottom saved him out of the highest 10. Right here’s the excerpt about Vea from the article written by Jeremy Fowler:
Some voters label Vea a two-down participant, extra of a conventional nostril deal with. And sure, his whole of 581 snaps in 16 video games final 12 months is taken into account low amongst high inside gamers, a lot of whom logged no less than 700. However Vea remains to be impactful anytime he takes the sphere.
“The way in which he can manhandle facilities and also can play on third down and be efficient when recent actually impresses me,” mentioned an NFC exec who voted him within the high three. “I wouldn’t wish to go towards him.”
Vea logged 33 tackles and 4.5 sacks with a ten.5% move rush win fee from the inside (sixteenth amongst defensive tackles) final 12 months. He has all the time been a stout run-stopper all through his profession, too. His 38.8% run cease win fee since 2019 ranks him among the many high 15 defensive linemen.
“He’s a high man for me, and it’s not that shut,” an NFL scouting coordinator mentioned. “He’s bought uncooked energy you can’t educate.”
Vea Deserves His Accolades, However He Can Nonetheless Enhance
There’s little doubt that Vea is a difference-maker on the inside of the Bucs’ line of defense. He eats up blocks in addition to anybody within the league, which might create sack alternatives for the remainder of Tampa Bay’s entrance seven. Plus, he has improved as a move rusher through the years. He posted three sacks and 4 quarterback hits in 13 video games (eight begins) as a rookie in 2018. In 2019, he completed with 2.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hits over a full season. An damage restricted him to solely 5 video games in 2020. In these 5 video games, he tallied two sacks and three quarterback hits.
It was in 2021 that the 2018 first-round choose produced a career-high 4 sacks. He additionally tied his profession excessive for quarterback hits, ending with 12. Within the playoffs, he added a sack and two extra quarterback hits.
The Bucs rewarded Vea towards the tip of final season, signing him to a contract extension. His new four-year extension consists of his 2022 fifth-year choice, which the workforce had already picked up earlier final 12 months. This 12 months, he figures in as a key member of Tampa Bay’s stacked line of defense. He’ll play alongside veteran Will Gholston, rookie Logan Corridor and up to date free agent addition Akiem Hicks.
Whereas Vea’s Professional Bowl season earned him a spot on this high 10 listing and a brand new contract, the Bucs want extra from him in 2022. The workforce wants him to play extra snaps and drive up his sack whole. Quite a lot of what he does for Todd Bowles’ protection doesn’t present up on the stat sheet, and that’s completely high quality. However the alternatives are there for the 27-year-old to get to the quarterback, and he must capitalize on them.