Grade Vita Vea (Embedded Poll)

January 3rd, 2020

So how did the Bucs’ resident manbeast defensive tackle fare this season?

There are many ways to judge Vita Vea.

For this series, Joe will lay out various facts and go light on opinion.

Second-year man Vea started all 16 games in 2019, and he took 66 percent of the defensive snaps. He also took 6 snaps on offense and caught a touchdown.

On the stats front, Vea had 2 1/2 sacks this season, which came on the heels of 3 sacks last season in just eight starts. Vea found 19 solo tackles this season after 21 in 2018. Four tackles for loss were the same total each season. And he racked up 12 quarterback hits this season versus 4 last year.

An anchor of the best run defense in the NFL at 3.3 yards per attempt, Vita was a fit in the Todd Bowles scheme and showed few if any holes in his run defense. His pass rush ability is growing but is not yet special. Vea had a few costly and unnecessary personal fouls this season, and the film shows twice against the Falcons last Sunday, Vea was caught not being ready when Atlanta went to a quick snap.

Grading Vea is an interesting exercise because the standard should be higher for a No. 12 overall pick.

What say you, Bucs fans?

73 Responses to “Grade Vita Vea (Embedded Poll)”

  1. ATrain Says:


  2. JimmyJack Says:

    Dang Joe good question. You watch Vita V and he is just unblock sometimes. You just know he is a big focus to any attack plan against us. That is a big deal to help all the players around him make plays……including the MLBs.

    He’s one of my favorite Bucs. Want to be a homer and give him a A but I’d say A should be used for those who make the game changing plays. Might be unfair but I give solid B. B+ if it were a choise.

  3. ancientasbuc Says:

    Vea’s job changed under Bowles and he was fantastic at it. He needs continued work on his conditioning and more opportunities for one on ones. When he has them he is dominant. Watch his film of Colts game and pay close attention to every rep against All-Pro Nelson. He owned him most every rep.

  4. Look at my stats, I'm ballin Says:

    Anything less than an A is criminal. The Bucs success on run defense is well-documented, but Vea got much more push into the QB this season than I expected. He made his case to be a 3-down player this season and I would argue he is knocking on the door to being described as “elite” in his respective position as a primarily run defending DT.

  5. Buccernutter Says:


    It’s gotta be an A given there were not many other dts that played better.

  6. LordCornelius Says:

    Best combination of a pass rush + run defense that our D-line / front 7 has had in a long time.

    Like Haloti Ngata, Vea will never be a stat machine. Ngata averaged like 2 sacks per year but his presence was obvious.

    I keyed on Vea on plenty of plays where he absolutely destroyed the interior of the pocket on a pass rush, which helped feed sacks for Barret / Nassib/ JPP/ or a blitzing LB.

  7. Anonymous Says:


  8. Don_RyJo(e) Says:

    Solid A! I wouldn’t say he’s “elite” yet, but I can see him getting there in a year or so. You can’t judge Vita based solely on his own stat sheet. How much of Barrett’s and JPP’s dominance caused by Vita doing HIS job and eating up blocks?

  9. Rob Tanner Says:

    Votes A, as he deserves. Those end linebackers don’t get half of what they got without Vita.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting question Joe, and one that should be asked of EVERY player, say one a day. Gave Vea a ‘B’ because I think he’s got quite a bit of room for improvement (that’s up from what I’d say was a ‘C’ his rookie year). Definitely strong; definitely hard to block. But technique-wise, I think he’s got a ways to go to be in the same league as his ‘teacher’ Ndamukong Suh. I also don’t see him as being a ‘lead dog’ on the DLine like JPP & Suh seem to be. Not yet anyways.

  11. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    B+ room to improve but overall did his job and did it damned well this year.

  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    He should make the All-Pro Team

  13. Kevin Says:

    “The standard should be higher for a 12th overall pick” Joe this is probably the dumbest statement you’ve made. C’mon, man. It’s NFL reality. Are we supposed to hold undrafted Peyton Barber to the same standard we would if he had been a top draft pick? –Joe Vita is the best d-lineman we have on the best run defense team. Vita’s contributions are so much more then what the stats say. Without his double teams and pushing his guy up the middle we’d have less sacks and pressures and his run defense speaks for itself. Without Vita our defense isn’t as elite as it’s been for the second half of the season. As Bruce Arians said he’s one of 5 bucs that should’ve been in the prow bowl. That means he’s a top 5 buc and has been more then what we could want from the 12th overall pick.

  14. Kevin Says:

    How should the standard be higher for a 12th overall pick. You defend Jameis a number all one overall pick all the time when in fact the standard should be extremely higher for a first overall pick. Vita was name a top 5 buc by Bruce Arians and is our best dlinemen on the best rush defense. Just because Vita doesn’t put sack numbers doesn’t mean he doesn’t contribute. Anyone who watches the games can be see how effective his presence is and how team double team him and game plan for just him. Again if u watched the games you could see how Vita barely missed out on 4-5 more sacks like so close. You can see him getting to qb way better through his qb hits which have tripled since his rookie year. Put some respect on of our better players Vita. Without this man our defense wouldn’t be the same.

  15. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    He/we need a playmate for VV…more than outside pressure
    VV is really starting to get the NFL and next if if he stays healthy will have a Pro Bowl year…plays to the whistle and is really having FUN on seeing him smile after making a play

  16. D-Rome Says:


    He should be a pro-bowler. He is going to be a great player.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    I gave him a ‘B’ ONLY because I think there is a little room for improvement and I would like to see him on the field more.
    Vea was unblockable and a key cog in, not only the run defense, but also in freeing up OLBs to rush the passer.

  18. TOM Says:

    I gave him a B but should be B+. Had a very good year only going to get better, if they keep the D intact.

  19. Danny Says:

    We’re giving a guy with 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks an “A” or “B” grade?

  20. Bucsfan1988 Says:

    Yeah he was a solid B and leaning towards B+
    Does have some room for improvement still.
    Definitely work on continual improvement of endurance to be able to stay out there for more plays.
    He does his job quite well now!
    He’s a star in the making with one more leap.

    Should have been considered for all-pro..
    Maybe 2nd team??

    I love the guy!!

  21. 941bucsfan Says:

    No we should he be an A or B. This fan base is obsessed with mediocrity especially from high round picks, I.E. Vita and Devin white

  22. 941bucsfan Says:

    No way*

  23. 941bucsfan Says:

    Its proven that will gholston had a better year than Vita

  24. Carl Says:

    Joe god knows why you trash vita vea (our best dlinemen) more then Jameisthe reason we didn’t make the playoffs)
    Somebody please show Joe where Vea is being trashed? Joe neither thinks Vea is trash nor expresses that. –Joe

  25. SteveK Says:


    Good point. Jameis, by Joe’s logic of draft position/expectation of
    performance, is what grade? And is his performance lesser than Vea’s in Joe’s eyes? Because any sane fan would see the turnovers and field position surrendered, inconsistency overall are killer to this team.

    Vea led the number one overall
    Rush defense and is it coincidence we have a 10+ sacker the past two
    Years, with Vea I’m the roster?

  26. SteveK Says:


    If White and Vea are “mediocre picks”, than Jameis is a “bust”. Considering draft slot, record amount of turnovers, and no playoffs in five years. What day you?

  27. SteveK Says:


    Good player. Hope he can stay healthy and develop more pass rush. Love this guy. A freaky man child and fun to watch.

  28. 941bucsfan Says:

    20 tackles and 2 sacks from a top 15 pick… and u guys are touting his run defense in a passing league. Incredible. All I hear is “well vita gets double teamed”. And then when I say suh is a waste of money I hear , “well suh gets double teamed”. I just read a report about “jpp getting double teamed” and we all know shaq gets double teamed… dammit somebody gotta be one on one, and thats the guy who was a top 15 pick and only plays 2/3 of the snaps. I sit here and I will say it again… Will gholston made more of an impact that vita vea

  29. Gman Says:

    Our run defense was legit and that is mainly because of Suh and Vea….and getting rid on MushCoy

  30. SteveK Says:


    Is there any coincidence that the past two years we’ve had double digit slackers and Vea is on the roster, gobbling up two players most of the time?

    We played against McCaffrey and Kamara twice. We played against Saquon, Derrick henry and Fournette. Not exactly an unimpressive list of opponents to acquire the best rushing d.

    Also, look at the linebackers. Lavonte and White get to fly clean to the ball.

    By your logic, I guess Vince wildfire wasn’t very impactful to the game ekther?

    If Vea made mistakes at the same frequency as Jameis, we’d have a much worse D.

  31. SteveK Says:

    Double digit sackers *

  32. SteveK Says:

    Vince wilfork*

  33. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Thank God for nick names!!!!,…. couldn’t say Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea …..because by the time it would take me the game would be over.

    Solid B+, Good solid freakishly strong player with some room for improvement.

  34. 941bucsfan Says:

    Let me tell you something when schiano ran the defense the bucs also had the #1 run defense. In 2012 schiano team gave up 3.5 and this team gave up 3.3. So that should tell you that stat doesnt mean shxtt. Did schiano have vea? Or how about devin white? Or how about jpp? Or how about suh? Lets try mason foster, roy miller, gmc and Daniel Teo lol. Its not difficult to get one of the best run defenses if you load up to stop the run. Schiano did the same thing WITHOUT all the high draft picks at “run stuffing” DT and MLB. And he had the same damn 7-9 record without all the turnovers at QB. You fans dont know anything, all you gotta do is go back and look at a little history and you will see that this team is just like it was in 2012, just like it finished in 2016 and will be back at the bottom in 2020…. history is repeating itself every 4 years. And all of you guys are falling for the trap. …… 20 tackles and 2 sacks and folks are doing heel kicks… just stop!

  35. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Damn I thought NPUPPY was something. 941 is about to beat him out. Everyone lay off of 941… he played high school football and knows what he’s talking about.

    If double V is mediocre, what is Winston? 121 POINTS OFF OF WINSTON TURNOVERS!!!

  36. Bucsfan951 Says:

    941… a stats guy obviously 🙄

    Can you change your name? It’s close to mine and I don’t need you rubbing off on me!

  37. 941bucsfan Says:

    Im not giving u just stats im giving u facts. I gave you records.. and you mention pts off turnovers, idk if you know or not, but thats a stat also… but its ok, you get to pick and choose when you want to use your “stats”. At the end of the day, schiano defense did the same damn thing this defense did and got the the 7-9 result. Without #50 and #45 . You cant deny that, no matter how much you want to.

  38. Bucsfan951 Says:

    941… 121 POINTS.


  39. 941bucsfan Says:

    Sure if its makes you feel better go ahead.. have no idea how we turned this into a winston convo but sure go ahead, call me what you want. I apologize for hurting your feelings about our Part time defensive tackle

  40. LordCornelius Says:

    941 seems like a fun guy lol

  41. 941bucsfan Says:

    Like Kawhi

  42. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Apology accepted. My feelings are better now.

    But for real, how can you say that? Shaq who plays on that same line for a second team nod. David who plays behind him was 1 vote from a second team nod (surprise surprise David gets another snuff) and even VV got a single vote. So I guess that 1 single voter who voted for VV doesn’t know what he was doing?

  43. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Amazing how the Bucs d had the 11 best yards per run in history/top 10 run defense in history but it has nothing to do with VV and everything to do with WG. Not to put big Will down. He had a helluva yr. But those two combined help the players around them be better. Sometimes, it’s not all about one persons stats but what magic is happening around them due to their effort.

  44. #1 BUCFAN Says:

    Ye a r Two, year one of new Defence. Next ye a r if h e stays healthy and Defence stays intact should be a Beast.

  45. 813bucboi Says:


    he did his job consistently well

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  46. adam from ny Says:

    B+ or A-

  47. SB Says:

    LOL It had to be Trollmax that gave him an ‘F’

  48. adam from ny Says:

    but you can’t leave those on the poll joe…

    he was no B, and he was no A…

    big dude was a tweener!

  49. K2 Says:

    It looks like the board gave him a B+ average…I think that’s about right.

  50. stpetebucsfan Says:

    4 people gave Vea a D….one actually gave him an F.

    I suspect that F came from a Derwin James jock sniffer crushed that we missed out on yet another FSU player,

  51. Buczilla Says:

    I gave him a B since there is room for him to get better. He’s not in his prime yet and I think that he has the potential to be a 5-6 sack guy and elite run stuffer. He’s going to be fun to watch for a long time.

  52. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    He’s gotta hit that gym and get rid of some that baby fat though.
    That’s the only thing that’s missing from his arsenal (Proper Conditioning).

    Haloti Ngata was built like David Tua in his prime.

  53. Steve Munoz Says:

    B+! Stats don’t tell the whole story. I can’t remember how many times exactly he helped other defensive line man get a sack because of his pass rush.

  54. cmurda Says:

    Yeah a “B” seems right. I’m actually impressed with the votes considering the stats are not a big jump up, if at all, from his 8 game 2018 debut. With that said, he has really helped anchor this D Line and I salute this site of extraordinary gentlemen for knowing that it doesn’t all show up in stats.

    I couldn’t agree more with LuvMyBucs. Ngata is the right mold for a comparison for Vea. That dude was a stud especially when he hit his prime.

  55. Brandon Says:

    He’s a B. An A in run defense and a C in pass rush. Sure, he gets push. That’s why he gets a C. Get the QB on the ground a few more times and it’s a B. Throw him down 8 times or more in a season and he’s an A. You can’t give a guy an A if he isn’t great a huge part of the game.

  56. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I wouldn’t replace anyone on the Defense, but I can think of 2 or 3 I’d replace on Offense and a couple on Special Teams.

  57. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Because he has room to grow, but did very well.

  58. 941bucsfan Says:

    Amazing how bucsfan951 calls me a stats guy but is using the hell out them in his comments lol

  59. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    I don’t care if you block me for life Joe you and this site are the biggest joke ever! Your a hack Period you should be running TMZ or Maury povich your a troll and should have all your media privileges removed. TROLLING HACKERS

  60. Bucsfan951 Says:

    121BUCSFAN!!! I actually love stats! I was just trolling you 😘

  61. lowercaseg Says:

    Make him a long time Buc.

  62. westernbuc Says:


    He blows up the pocket but doesn’t always finish. He needs that move to disengage and get to the QB. That being said, I think he’s more than capable of getting better. I liked this pick at the time and I still like it

  63. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    Lol, I had to be that one guy who voted F. SPBF. Vita is a freaking stud 2tech. He’s an A for sure

  64. ir8oldman Says:

    Grade A

    He was disruptive in the trenches. He would have had more sacks, but Shaq was a step ahead of him on quite a few of them. Tackles for losses, and batted balls happened every game for him. No play was taken off. He did not loaf! Him and the Man named Suh were a terrific combination.

  65. Capt. Tim Says:

    I know alot of people dont watch the games,
    Vita Vea is pilled during passing downs.
    9 times outta 10, the Bucs go to a 4-2-5 defense on passing downs.
    Vea comes out.
    JPP goes to DE, Nassib goes to DT, Along with Vea.
    Often, they Pull Gholsten for someone with better pass rush skills( Pat O
    ‘Conner lately)
    White And David stay at LB.
    Bunting-Murphy joins the secondary.
    Frequently being on the Bench for Passing downs, hurts your sack numbers.

    Towards the end of the season, they occssionally left Vea in, And replaced Gholsten with Nassib.
    Nut Vita “Maui” Vea is a DT. Their job is to disrupt the pocket, Forcing QBs in to DEs.
    Vea was drafted to be a dominant run stopper.
    And he is already incredible at it.

  66. Capt. Tim Says:

    “Nassib goes to DT, along with SUH”

  67. 941bucsfan Says:

    Hey Tim no one drafts a d tackle that high to play 2/3 of the snaps. Real ballers dont leave the damn field. They take him off the field because he is a liability in the pass. This guy let the most immobile qbs side step him over and over again. Its like having a running back who cant pass block so he doesnt play on passing downs…. you can get an A or B for being a part time player in a PASSING LEAGUE, where was vita when derrick henry and chris carson gashed us?

  68. DalvinCookRules Says:

    I am sticking with my original draft grade: high 3rd rounder

    It has taken several years for him to develop into…. an average NFL DT. He had a solid season, C+ grade, but he is still lacking in many areas. He is a good run stuffer and occupies OL, but the 12th overall pick with so many great players available? Sorry.

  69. 941bucsfan Says:

    Yep and we couldve taken Tremaine Edmunds who is an absolute beast at Linebacker instead of vea, then we wouldnt of had to waste a a top 5 pick on a MLB that cant defend a tight end for the life of him.

  70. Bill M Says:

    Solid B. Young player who will get even better. He and Suh shut down the inside running game all season.

  71. Capt. Tim Says:

    When that draft pick almost singlehandedly gives you the Number 1 rush defense?
    Damn straight you pick him that high- and he is a fantastic draft pick at that.

    I am so tired of saying this.
    DEFENSIVE TACKLES ARENT DRAFTED TO RACK UP SACKS.they are drafted to disrupt the pocket up the middle.
    Defensive ends/ rush linebackers are drafted to get sacks.
    Their main responsibility is to hold up against Double teams, so the DE and LB can do their job.
    Yes their are a few Arron Donalds in the league, but that is very rare

  72. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Joe says, “The standard should be higher for a No. 12 overall pick.” Well, what would you say about a #1 overall pick who led the league in interceptions in his 5th year? I don’t think you would be too thrilled with that accomplishment.

  73. Buc1987 Says:

    DalvinCookRules Says:

    “I am sticking with my original draft grade: high 3rd rounder

    It has taken several years for him to develop into…. an average NFL DT”

    Typical Bucs fan….”several years” huh?