Why Vita Vea Should be Atop the Draft List for Atlanta Falcons

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Vita Vea
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Why Atlanta Falcons Should Look Into Vita Vea

Vita Vea fits what the Falcons are looking for

The Atlanta Falcons don’t have too many holes on their roster, which will allow them to draft the best player available when they are on the clock in the 2018 NFL draft. Looking at the Falcons roster the biggest areas of need for them are defensive line and offensive guard. Both are viable options to be taken in the first round but Atlanta will probably take the best person on their board when it gets to the 26th pick in the draft.

College Career

Vita Vea came onto campus as a true freshman and started in 11 games for the Washington Huskies. As a freshman he was a reserve player and racked up 13 tackles, 17 for a loss, and 1 sack. During his sophomore year he took a huge step forward in production, compiling 22 tackles, 39 tackles for a loss, and 5 sacks. He did all that while only starting five out of 14 games played in. Vea finished his career with 65 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, and 9.5 sacks.

Why Vea is an option?

Vea is the top defensive tackle on many analyst’s boards and may see his name called well before the Falcons pick. However, should he still be on the board, he should be a top option for the team He would fill the void left by Dontari Poe, who left in free agency to sign with the Panthers. Tthe Falcons have no viable starter outside of Grady Jarrett on the interior defensive line, and need to prioritize a pick on one early. Vea provides them stability on the interior and can help take the pressure off Jarrett of being a full-time guy.

Vea’s athleticism and versatility

Vea is a very strong and athletic prospect, especially for his size. At 6’4” 347 pounds he ran a 5.1 40-yard dash at the combine and posted 41 reps on the bench press. At 347 pounds no one expected him to run as fast as he did, and it blew some away with his speed. While at Washington he was occasionally used as a pass rusher, which is very rare especially given how big he is. He certainly won’t be asked to do that in the NFL, but it points to how athletic he can be. He will best be used as a nose tackle and be a dominant force against the run.

Final thoughts

Vea has the size and light feet that the NFL looks for. However, he is still a raw prospect however but could really blossom with the right coaching to work on his feel for NFL blocking schemes and how to work through double teams. If drafted by the Falcons he would be a day one starter and could contribute well on defense. Vea has the strength to throw blockers around with the ability to lock out blockers and locate the ball with ease. This will help him get in the field early and make plays. If he is available at pick 26 the Falcons should be running the card to the podium.

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