Data Scout Notes: **2017: 01-01-18- Announced Early Entry into 2018 NFL Draft...DPOYC/1stC...PBednarik...2016: 2ndC...2015: NAC
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Vita Vea Washington Huskies Defensive Tackle 6-4, 344, 5.34, #50 Milpitas, CA Milpitas High School
2017 ALL-PAC-12 FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Vita Vea, Jr., Washington,...Vea, a junior defensive tackle from Milpitas, Calif., is the first Husky to earn Pac-12 Player of the Year on defense since 1996, when Jason Chorak won the honor. The 6-foot-5, 340-pounder is the centerpiece of the Husky defense that led the conference in rushing, scoring and total defense. - Washington Football
2017 PAC-12 PAT TILLMAN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Vita Vea, Washington...Vea, a junior from Milpitas, Calif., anchored the Husky defense that led the Pac-12 and was third in the nation in rushing defense (92.3 yards allowed), while the team's total defense (277.4 yards allowed) paced the Pac-12 and was fifth in the FBS. Behind Vea, the Huskies gave up just eight rushing touchdowns on the season. He posted 38 tackles (26 solo, 12 assisted) in 12 starts, collecting 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Vea is the first Husky to win the award since linebacker Jason Chorak in 1996, and the fifth time overall that a Husky has garnered the honor. - Pac-12 Football
Flashy skill-position players on offense and a gifted secondary dominate the conversation when discussing the Washington Huskies' return to national prominence but the most gifted NFL prospect on the team is Vea, a monster in the middle already drawing comparisons to some of the most dominant defensive tackles in Pac-12 history. Playing behind 2015 first round pick Danny Shelton and Elijah Qualls (another NFL prospect), Vea saw limited duty as a redshirt freshman in 2015, registering "just" 17 tackles, including three for loss and a sack. Vea's numbers nearly doubled across the board during the 2016 regular season (35-5.5-4), earning him Second Team All-Pac-12 honors from league coaches despite it being his first year as a starter. Given his relative lack of experience, it should come as little surprise that Vea remains very rough around the edges. He was blessed with an eye-popping combination of size, power and agility, however, that could convince a team to roll the dice with an early pick should he elect to leave early for the NFL.
STRENGTHS: Boasts an imposing frame with hulking shoulders and a powerful, evenly distributed musculature with little to no extra weight around his middle. Terrific upper body strength to stack and shed would-be blockers at the point of attack.
Bends at the knees and maintains pad level throughout the play, planting his legs into the ground and rarely giving up much ground even against double-teams. Can walk the center/guard deep into the pocket as a bull rusher, showing excellent leg drive to collapse the pocket from the interior. Long and strong enough to pull down runners with one arm while occupied with blockers, engulfing ballcarriers for easy tackles when he has a clear lane. Surprisingly light on his feet. Accelerates very well for a man of his size. Good lateral agility and balance, recognizing and reacting quickly to would-be cut blocks by sprawling or side-stepping them. Possesses the short area quickness and motor to be a factor in lateral pursuit.
WEAKNESSES: Slow off the ball, lacking the quick-twitch explosiveness to split gaps consistently. Offers little more than a simple bull rush at this time against the pass, showing very little in terms of hand play to get free. Fails to get his hands up into passing lanes as often as he should given how rarely he is in position to get the sack. Loses sight of the ball as he fights blockers, allowing ballcarriers to slip by too easily.
COMPARES TO: Haloti Ngata, Detroit Lions: Dominant run-stuffers don't arrive often in the pass-happy Pac-12 but when they do their talent is obvious. Don't expect many sacks from Vea but he could be a decade-long starter in the middle at nose tackle. --Rob Rang, 12-29-16
IN OUR VIEW: Perhaps the best indication of Vea's uncommon athleticism is the fact that he rushed for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns as a high school running back. His value in the NFL, however, will be stopping the opposing running backs, projecting best as a two-gap run-stuffer with Pro Bowl upside.
Started all 12 games ... named first-team All-Pac-12 and won the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year Award, as well as the Morris Trophy (top defensive lineman in the Pac-12, as voted by the conference's offensive linemen) ... second-team All-America from USA Today, Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and TheAthletic.com ... earned Academic All-Pac-12 honorable mention ... one of five finalists for Polynesian Player of the Year
Started the Huskies' season opening win over Rutgers, finishing with four total tackles ... two tackles, including a sack, in Washington's win over Montana ... named the UW coaches' lineman of the week after the win over Fresno State ... three tackles against the Bulldogs ... earned the Husky coaches' special teams player of the game for Colorado, largely due to a momentum-swinging pun block in the second quarter that led to the UW's first touchdown ... also credited with four tackles against the Buffaloes ... three tackles in the win at Oregon State ... two tackles, including a sack, in the Husky win over Cal, earning the UW coaches' defensive player of the week award ...
Named the UW coaches' lineman of the week for the UCLA win ... three tackles, including a nine-yard sack, against the Bruins ... three tackles, including one for a loss, in the 38-3 win over Oregon ... notched six tackles at Stanford ... six tackles, including one for a loss, in the win over Utah ... named the UW coaches' defensive player of the game for the Apple Cup, when the Dawgs held the Cougars to minus-28 yards rushing ... had two tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, against WSU ... named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player and also won the Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award at the UW postseason awards banquet.
Played in all 14 games, starting five ... made three tackles, including a nine-yard sack, in the win over Rutgers ... terrific game against Idaho, with three tackles, including one-and-a-half sacks ... named the team's defensive player of the week for the Idaho game ... six tackles, including one for a loss, in the win over Portland State ... had four tackles in the win at Arizona
Made three tackles, an 11-yard sack and a forced fumble in the win over No. 7 Stanford ... had a pair of solo tackles in Washington's 70-21 win at Oregon ... two tackles in a starting role vs. Oregon State ... three tackles and a pass break-up in the Husky win at Utah, earning the team's defensive player of the week award ... three tackles in Washington's win at Cal ... three tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, against USC ... three tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, in the win over Arizona State ... made four tackles, including a sack, vs. Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Played in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman ... saw his first college action in the season opener at Boise State ... had two solo stops vs. the Broncos ... made one tackle (for a loss) in the win over Sacramento State ... also played against Utah State and Cal ... had one stop in Washington's win at USC ... one stop vs. Oregon and at Stanford ... two tackles in the Husky victory over Arizona ... three tackles, including one for a loss, vs. Utah ... three stops at Arizona State ... one tackle in the win at Oregon State ... had a tackle and forced a fumble in the Apple Cup win over Washington State ... had a seven-yard sack in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Southern Miss.
A 2013 graduate of Milpitas, delayed college enrollment until fall of 2014 and entered as a true freshman ... joined the UW team in time for the start of the 2014 fall practice season ... redshirted true freshman season at the UW.
Spent four seasons on the varsity as a running back and defensive lineman ... totaled 296 tackles and 19 sacks during his prep career ... named to the MaxPreps.com All-NorCal first team and its Division II all-state first team as a senior in 2012, when he notched 89 tackles and eight sacks while rushing for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns ... also made first-team All-Metro from the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News ... was the De Anza League defensive MVP and the Mercury News' area defensive player of the year ... led the Trojans to a 9-4 record and the championship game of the CIF Central Coast Section Division I playoffs ... made Mercury News all-area first-team and honorable mention All-Metro from the Chronicle as a junior in 2011 ... also the De Anza League Co-Outstanding Lineman that year ... Milpitas went 8-4 and went to the playoff semifinals as a junior ... honorable mention All-Metro as a sophomore ... helped team to an 11-2 record as a freshman ... also played varsity basketball ... played football for coach Kelly King.
Draft Scout Player News
03/10/18 - Even with top Dawgs Vita Vea and Dante Pettis sidelined with sore paws, it was a packed house at the Dempsey Indoor facility at the University of Washington Pro Day with an estimated 20 NFL teams represented. Vea, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, pulled a hamstring running the 40-yard dash at NFL Scouting Combine. All NFL 32 teams were notified that he would not be participating in timed or positional drills during Saturday's workout. However, before hurting himself at Indy, Vea managed to live up to the pre-Combine buzz as one of the most explosive players in the draft, registering a speedy 5.10 seconds in the 40-yard dash after weighing in at 6-foot-4, 347 pounds and benching 225 pounds 41 times. Several scouts stopped and visited with Vea as his teammates competed. The Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins had formal visits with Vea, who currently tops NFLDraftScout.com's defensive tackle rankings, checking in at No. 9 overall. - Rob Rang, NFL DraftScout.com
03/05/18 - DT Vita Vea, projected as a top 10 pick, wasn't able to complete his Combine workouts because of a hamstring injury and isn't sure if he will be ready for the Huskies' Pro Day, which will be held Saturday, not giving Vea a lot of time to recover. "I don't know," he told NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang before leaving Indianapolis on Sunday. "We'll see how my hammy does throughout the week. Be back in Seattle, getting rehab on it, taking care of it. We'll see how it turns out."
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Athleticism Key for these Prospects: Vita Vea, DT, Washington...There will be no bathroom breaks by scouts or coaches when it is Vea's turn on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. NFL evaluators are eager to see the show, with many expecting Vea to run a sub-5.00 40-yard dash at 340-plus pounds -- just like Dontari Poe in 2012. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Must-see Prospects per Position: DT Vita Vea, Washington, 6-4, 345, 5.34...Currently ranked 2nd among DTs, 17th overall and a 1st-round value...Behind the scenes bets are being made that Vea will clock in at under 5.0 seconds in the 40-yard dash despite tipping the scales at a legitimate 345 pounds. He may turn heads in the vertical jump and bench press, as well. Often compared to former Oregon star (and five-time Pro Bowler) Haloti Ngata over the past two years, Vea may unleash the kind of workout the NFL has not seen from a defensive lineman of his size since Dontari Poe's legendary performance six years ago -- which included clocking in at 4.98 seconds and lifting the bar an eye-popping 44 times at 6-3, 346 pounds, catapulting him to 11th overall pick in 2012 by Kansas City. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/01/18 - Washington standout defensive lineman Vita Vea, the Pac-12 Conference defensive player of the year, has declared for the NFL draft. Vea announced the expected decision in a lengthy post on social media on Monday. Vea hinted following Washington loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl he would be leaving early for the NFL, where he's expected to be a first-round pick. Vea nearly left Washington after his sophomore year but opted to stay for his junior season. He was a disruptive force on the defensive line and was voted the conference defensive player of the year by the league's coaches. He was the first Washington player named defensive player of the year in the conference since 1996 and just the fourth defensive player in school history to be player of the year. Vea finished the regular season with 38 tackles and 3 ½ sacks. He had six tackles in the Fiesta Bowl. - AP College Football