LA Chargers: “Steal a Player” series – NFC South edition

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(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the LA Chargers steal…

DT Vita Vea

The last player the Chargers are stealing may be a bit of a surprise, but Vita Vea is a young, rising stud.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers boast a lethal duo of wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, I chose to pass on them in favor of Julio Jones’s top-end talent.

While that leaves some good or potentially even great options left of the Buccaneers’ roster (Ndamukong Suh and Rob Gronkowski come to mind), no truly elite other options are available. Instead, I went with a fantastic value in Vita Vea.

Vea, who was drafted with the 12th pick in 2018, is still on a reasonable rookie contract, but he has already blossomed into a great defensive tackle with the potential to become one of the best in the league in the near future.

At 6’4″ and 347 pounds, Vita Vea is a massive run-stuffing defensive tackle. With Vea on the roster, the days of teams gashing the Chargers with runs up the middle will finally be over for the first time since Jamal Williams was in his prime.

Vita Vea’s ability to stuff the run and eat up blockers will be an excellent asset for the young linebacking core including Kenneth Murray and Drue Tranquill who may need a bit extra time to read plays before attacking the ball.

Still, the addition of Vea may sound a bit strange considering that the Chargers just brought in Linval Joseph to fill this role.

Joseph has been great in his career, but he is an aging player who does not have the potential to be elite. Vea is an elite player in this role, and he also provides the opportunity to keep Joseph fresh for clear power run plays.

Despite his main status as a run-stuffer, Vea offers great upside as an interior rusher as well. Most people at his size would struggle to reach the quarterback quickly, but Vea is extremely athletic. In 2019, Vea registered 12 quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks, both of which are better than any interior lineman on the Chargers in 2019.

Vita Vea’s ability to stuff the run combined with his pass-rushing potential and decent contract make him an excellent asset for the Chargers to steal.

Top 3 other options: WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, OT Tristan Wirfs

Next. Steal a player series, NFC North

If you could steal a player from each NFC South team, who would you steal? Let us know in the comment section below.