Vita Vea is visiting many teams, and one of them is the Washington Redskins. This is an encouraging development for the team.
One of the biggest areas of need remaining on the Redskins team comes at the nose tackle position. The team was expected to address the position this offseason, but they haven’t yet made a move to do so. However, there could be a good reason for that.
The 2018 NFL Draft has two first-round nose tackle options that will almost certainly be on the Redskins board. They are Da’Ron Payne and Vita Vea. While Payne has gotten a lot of love as of late, Vea is an equal caliber prospect and it’s looking like he is firmly in play for the Redskins first draft pick.
Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Washington Redskins are among eight teams that Vea is visiting or has visited.
Having the Redskins on this list is absolutely critical. The team has a major need at the nose tackle position, and they haven’t done much to address it in the past two offseasons. In 2016, they went into the season with Kedric Golston as the top option on the depth chart. Last year, Phil Taylor was supposed to get the job done. However, both years, the top options got hurt, and Ziggy Hood was forced to take over at that spot. He was playing out of position, and that caused the run defense to be weaker than if the team had a true run stuffer at the nose tackle position.
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Recently, I compared the available nose tackle options that the Redskins had, and highlighted Vea as one of the top options. This is what I said of the massive, 347 pounder from Washington.
"In terms of skill set, Vea, like Payne, should be an excellent run stuffer at the next level. At Washington, Vea recorded 39 and 43 tackles in his final two seasons, and he actually chipped in with a combined 8.5 sacks over those final two seasons. He was an anchor for the defense, and he was considered to be one of the team’s best players.Despite the pass rushing production, there is a chance that it may not translate to the NFL level as well. Vea will be relying on his strength and size to push around interior offensive linemen. That is completely fine, and he will definitely have success doing it in the run game. But, he won’t be as athletic by comparison at the NFL level. But no matter what, Vea should be a quality starter at the NFL level."
Vea is going to be in the running for the No. 13 pick, if he’s available. This visit just confirms that the Redskins are interested in him. And while Payne may have more upside and Johnathan Hankins is more proven, there’s no doubting that Vea would be a more than capable starter for the team.
Hopefully, the Redskins are able to upgrade their nose tackle position very soon. This offseason will be critical to improving their defense, and it’s quite possible that Vea could get the job done for them.