Prospect Profile: Washington DT Vita Vea

Posted Mar 14, 2018

Vita Vea

Defensive tackle | Washington | Junior

Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 347

College Stats

2017: 44 tackles (31 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four pass breakups, one punt return for 17 yards in 13 games (13 starts); Second-Team All-America by multiple outlets; All-Pac-12 First Team, Morris Trophy (best lineman in Pac-12), Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Academic All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, Polynesian Player of the Year Finalist, Fiesta Bowl Most Outstanding Defensive Player

Career: 100 tackles (66 solo), 15 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one punt return for 17 yards in 40 games (18 starts); in addition to awards mentioned above, also was 2016 All-Pac-12 Second Team and 2016 Academic All-Pac-12 Second Team

Combine Results

40-yard dash: 5.1 seconds
Bench press: 41 reps of 225 pounds (second among defensive linemen)
Broad jump: did not participate
Vertical jump: did not participate
3-cone drill: did not participate
20-yard shuttle: did not participate


Summary: As a senior at Milpitas High School, Vea totaled 89 tackles and 8.0 sacks and rushed for 578 yards and 11 scores, garnering selection to the All-Metro First Team by the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. After graduating in 2013, Vea delayed enrollment until 2014 when he redshirted at Washington. Vea played in all 13 games as a freshman. He started five of 14 games played in 2016, helped the Huskies make the College Football Playoffs in 2016 and recorded a sack against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Vea started every game as a junior in 2017 and delivered big play after big play for Washington. He also helped a Huskies defensive effort that limited Apple Cup rival Washington State to minus-28 rushing yards.

Stacking up: NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock ranked Vea as the best interior defensive line prospect before and after the combine. Bucky Brooks slotted Vea as his No. 2 defensive tackle before the combine and called him a “dancing bear on the interior.” Daniel Jeremiah has Vea slotted at 10th overall in his list of the Top 50 prospects and wrote that Vea “is a more athletic version of Haloti Ngata and should quickly emerge as a Pro Bowl player.”

QB to RB to DT: Vea said he weighed 270 pounds in high school and told media members at the combine about his early football aspirations.

“I tried to play quarterback. Didn’t really succeed in that, as you can tell, I’m over here playing D-line. It was just something that I tried to put too much effort into one play, and I was focusing too much on throwing the perfect pass that when my time came to throw that ball to the receiver down the field, I chucked that ball like 30 feet up in the air, and it was gone. And there were my quarterback dreams — up in the air. Lost with the wind.”

As for his days as a running back, Vea said, “I tried to think like I was L.T., LaDainian Tomlinson back in the day. I tried to throw a little juke move on the guys and get into the end zone.”