DT Vita Vea (Rd. 1, Pick 12)
Vita Vea quickly proved why the Buccaneers viewed him as one of the top players in the Draft. He was a force inside, clogging up rushing lanes with brute force.
His ability to take on double teams and allow his teammates to clean up the play was a big factor in Tampa’s defensive improvement under Mark Duffner.
To say that Vea’s career started poorly is an understatement. At the start of training camp, trainers carted him off the field with a calf injury.
Unable to practice or get preseason reps, Vea missed the first three games of the season. It would take him five more weeks to get his body right and produce on the field.
From Week 9 to the season finale, Vea was right, and it earned him PFF All-Rookie Team honors.
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