Bucs Hoping For Another Michael Brockers; A Fresh Vita Vea Analysis

July 3rd, 2018

The more Joe studied college film and stats of Bucs rookie manbeast first-round pick Vita Vea, the more Joe was flummoxed that Vea had so few tackles for loss during his University of Washington career.

Yeah, there’s much more to a defensive tackle than numbers and TFL’s, as they’re called. But Vea, the No. 12 overall pick, only logged 15 TFLs in 37 college games.

Production is critical, and it’s just odd that a freakish athlete like Vea wasn’t making as many splash plays as many of his peers.

So Joe, along with spring JoeBucsFan.com intern Tyler Lynn, dove into data on defensive tackles drafted since 2009.

Of the 53 defensive tackles selected in Rounds 1 and 2 from 2009 through 2017, only nine had fewer tackles for loss in college than Vea, and none of those were drafted as high as Vea. The closest was Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers, the 14th overall pick in 2012. He had 11 tackles for loss in a 27-game career at LSU.

Brockers is the cream of that crop of nine. He’s a $10-million-per-season player for Los Angeles and has been a rock through his six years. And it sure helps to play alongside Aaron Donald.

Malcolm Brown of the Patriots (32nd pick in 2015) and Chicago’s Eddie Goldman (Bears second-rounder in 2015) have been solid defensive tackles in the NFL, and both had fewer tackles for loss than Vea in college. Jarran Reed (Seattle second-rounder in 2016) appears to be the last of the pure success stories from that crop of nine, while the jury is still out on Giants second-rounder last year, Dalvin Tomlinson.

Marvin Austin, Phillip Taylor and Ego Ferguson were busts, and Jordan Phillips is now competing for a job with Akeem Spence in Miami, which isn’t a great look for a 2015 second-round pick.

Joe chatted with some folks who scouted Vea and they talked about his disruption, potential and how team certainly ran away from where he was positioned. Joe’s initial reaction was thinking about how college offensive coordinators avoid nearly every defensive tackle worthy of a premium draft pick. Right?

Again, this is just something to think about with Vea. He’s wildly talent but was lacking the numbers in college.

That’ll be just fine for him in the pros, as long as he’s setting up those around him. The Bucs, of course, are hoping for more.

((For those wondering, Joe rarely accepts an intern but gets dozens of inquiries every year. Please don’t be insulted. This was a unique high school internship.))

24 Responses to “Bucs Hoping For Another Michael Brockers; A Fresh Vita Vea Analysis”

  1. Bucnjim Says:

    Not sure how his position in college will define his NFL career. Was he asked to disrupt or hold the point of attack? In most of his highlights it seemed he took on lineman to redirect plays.

  2. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Screw you bro sick of your bs
    Slow your roll gerbrony

  3. Rick Says:

    I think double V will be just fine. True thought that teams in college had a specific target to keep their plays away from him.

  4. Durango 95 Says:

    Scheme, fit and coaching. The three things that separate restless nights and an informed HS intern’s analysis.

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m not sure the data base is actually large enough to make any genuine pronouncements but I understand the thinking behind Joe’s post.

    What is missing from just a pure “numbers” analysis are other ancillary factors that could…I say “could” have affected those raw numbers.

    We do not know for certain how Washington’s DC used Vea. As primarily contain…tie up at least two OL so his fellow DL could get the play?

    Perhaps the Pac10’s pass oriented attacks…it’s not the SEC…meant Vea simply didn’t see many RB’s coming his way.

    Actually if you look at techniques…body types…style of play…our three stars on the DL are complementary and not really similar. It could turn out to be the perfect blend of talent. Seriously!!! If Vea becomes the glue that ties the middle together and stops runs…freeing GMC of double teams and giving him the ability to get after the passer…and with all this inside pressure JPP is going to feast from the outside. The other additions all have talent even if they are not major stars. This line could be pretty amazing if we could just catch a break.

    I think it would be amusing…but I have a twisted sense of humor…if this team flipped the switch in just one season and went from building with a dynamic franchise QB and a LOAD of great targets for him to a monster defensive squad whose main goal in life was to live up to the GREAT defense that played for the Bucs at the start of the millenium.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Maybe it’s the Jameis thing Joe, but you seem to be turning very negative nowadays. Praise Vea as a “rookie manbeast first-round pick” in one breath then stab him with yet another innuendo about being “flummoxed that Vea had so few tackles for loss during his University of Washington career.” Why exaggerate to the point of lying. Joe isn’t stabbing Vea at all. And this post is not negative. Simply a fair and reasoned exploration. –Joe

    Vince Wilfork, another “manbeast”, anchored New England’s DLine for 11 years. Yet in all those years he only had 16 total sacks (1.5 per yr) and 355 tackles (about 2 per game average). And oh ya, he was good enough to play in 24 playoff games. Got a suspicion that Bill Belicheck wasn’t worried about Wilfork’s college stats. Wilfork played a vital role within the T-E-A-M concept to perfection. And so will Vita Vea. Not worried about his individual stats; just concerned about this group of Bucs’ players becoming a T-E-A-M that can win on gamedays.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I believe that Vita Vea will end up being a great pick for us…..hell, I don’t care if he ever gets into the opposing team’s backfield…..simply be a huge boulder in the middle of our Dline…..taking up a couple of Olinemen and plugging his gap.
    Manbeast is what he is….

  8. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    It wont take long for Vea to play slow and weak just captain blowout.
    Joe’s about finished with your nonsense, Reality-is-a-Beotsch. You are now in the cooler. –Joe

  9. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Its the Buccaneer way. Lose badly, lose quietly &;cash the check. The dline creed ..

  10. Not there yet Says:

    Not sure how studying tape on a completely different scheme gives you any kind of reasonable take on double v lol like the name so I’m joining in on it. 3-4 guys just aren’t asked to do something a 4-3 guy will do and this will be like a redshirt year unless he’s just heads and shoulders above our prized free agent run stuffer. Right now barring injury he’s a rotational guy and learning all new NFL techniques meaning college and nfl are night and day, so to will his his production be. He did a variety of things in college and it’ll be different in the pros

    If just numbers weren’t that great he should have no problem matching or exceeding them

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I wish SB would carry you to the top of that 25 mile mountain trail & leave you there…..you could whine to the wind.

  12. SB Says:

    LOL TBBF. I just got back a few ago. My arms feel like jelly.
    Lol…………we still laugh at you Tmax.

  13. SB Says:

    I c what u did there Joes! 🙂

  14. Kobe Faker Says:

    Da ron payne 3 down tackle will be much better NFL player than 2 down lug vea

    “Final draft analysis and grade for Forest Gump from player evaluator Kobe Faker coming up this weekend….not pretty”

    Kobe Faker

  15. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Realitymax have you called your kids yet? Also, don’t forget your alimony and child support was due 2 days ago.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Funny….now Boetch is in the cooler with the Ghost of Tmax….I wonder how they’ll get along.

    Tuckin’ in. It’s now 11:13 do you know where your backup QB is? (not to worry)

  17. SB Says:

    No it is only 9:13. Later bud!!!

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Guess Tmaxipad has to create a new poster name!
    Wonder what the record is, for one guy getting multiple bans?

    If you are looking for Vita to gets sacks, or tackles for losses- you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.

    Hes NOT a defensive tackle.
    He is a nose tackle.
    Just like college, he is gonna take on two blockers- and hold his ground.
    Totally disrupts the offenses inside running game.

    More importantly, it will free up Gerald McCoy.
    Last year, Ayers and Gholsten were such patetic excuses for DEs, that teams werent even wasting Olinemenon them. They were knocking them on their Arses- with TEs and Rbs. It was nauseating to watch.

    Now, you cant Triple team McCoy.
    Vea will Always tie up two guys. McCoy needs two guys to slow him down
    JPP and Curry should Feast.
    And on Passing Downs, Beau Allen has enough burst to disrupt the pocket.

    Vita will be our Haloti Ngata
    And thats a great thing to be!!

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    Just clogging the middle, holding ground and drawing doubles would be a massive improvement on the DL.

  20. Andrew Says:

    I pray Derwin doesn’t end up an all-pro safety

  21. Tc Says:

    Don’t expect too much out of vea this year as sapp nor McCoy did much in their rookie season.

  22. Drew Says:

    What point are you trying to make Joe? Vita hasn’t played an NFL down yet. Best to let it play out and see where the train heads.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    It’s a fair assessment. Maybe why some thought Vea was a reach at 12. I think Vea has a lot of upside and potential. I’d like to see Vea lose that gut but he’s still quick. I like all of the picks made by Licht this year. I see good things with every one of them.

  24. Travis Says:

    I feel like you’re missing a golden opportunity to have the intern monicker be Joey and let it roll for all future interns.