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5 Things to Know About DT Vita Vea

Posted Apr 26, 2018

Get to know the Bucs' first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft with these five fast facts.

1. Vita Vea isn’t his full name.

Vea’s full name is Tevita "Vita" Tuli'aki'ono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea.

2. As a junior in 2017, Vea was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

He also won the Morris Trophy that year, given to the best offensive and defensive linemen in the conference. His junior campaign saw 43 total tackles (5.5 for loss) and 3.5 sacks. He recorded a total of 99 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks over his collegiate career at Washington.

3. Coach Dirk Koetter drew a comparison to Haloti Ngata for Vea.

In his press conference immediately following the pick, Coach Koetter noted his relationship with Washington coach, Chris Petersen, and commented on Vea’s character saying that Coach Petersen told him that Vea is ‘one of those guys that you would want to marry your daughter.’ He also noted that Vea is similar to longtime NFL defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, now of the Philadelphia Eagles, as far as style of play. Over his 12-year career, Ngata has racked up 498 combined tackles, 31.5 sacks, 36 passes defensed and five interceptions.

4. Vea ran a 5.1 40-yard dash at the 2018 Combine at 347 pounds.

Vea is touted for his athleticism and according to Jason Licht, Washington would stand him up on the edge at times and during those times, Vea produced. He joins a solid rotation in Tampa Bay’s new-look defensive line that all of a sudden has tremendous depth and versatility.

5.
He is the eighth Pac-12 defensive tackle to be taken in the first round in the past four NFL Drafts.

Vea is part of a recent surge of West Coast defensive linemen going in the top part of the draft. He joins the likes of Soloman Thomas, Takkarist McKinley and DeForest Buckner as another elite defensive lineman to come out of the Pac-12 in the first round. Both Thomas and McKinley went in 2017. Three years ago in 2015, three Pac-12 defensive linemen went in the first round (Leonard Williams, Danny Shelton and Arik Armstead). Shelton was the last defensive lineman out of Washington to go in the first round in 2015.