Dallas Cowboys 2018 draft target: Vita Vea

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 26: Vita Vea /

With David Irving’s future up in the air, could the Dallas Cowboys consider drafting defensive tackle Vita Vea to strengthen their defensive line?

One of the biggest questions the Dallas Cowboys have to answer this offseason is what to do with defensive tackle David Irving. The 24 year old D-lineman is coming off a year in 2017 that was plagued by injures, and a four game suspension at the beginning of the season.

Irving is a restricted free agent this offseason, and the question is up in the air if the Cowboys will want to bring him back.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Cowboys are not likely to pursue a long term extension with Irving this offseason.

If the Cowboys do decide to let Irving walk, they will clearly need some help replacing him on the defensive line. One possible target to do this would be Vita Vea, the defensive tackle out of Washington.

The 23-year old measures in at 6’4 and 344 pounds. Vea is one of the most impressive athletes in this draft, as his strength and agility for his size are off the charts.

In his junior year at Washington, Vea recorded 43 total tackles, 30 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.

In 2017, Vea won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for his outstanding performance.

With the inconsistent season of defensive tackle Maliek Collins this past year, Vea could help improve the Cowboys run defense.

If you throw on some tape of Vea, you can see his strength is just out of this world. Vea is able to overpower lighter offensive lineman at the point of attack, and has good pursuit to the ball for a player of his size.

Another strength for Vea is his enormous potential. Vea is still very raw, and has so much potential for improvement. Under the coaching of Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, Vea could become even more of a dominant force then he already is now.

Some things Vea may struggle with in the NFL are he does not have great foot quickness, and with his size and lack off pass rush ability, he may become a player who can only be on the field on run downs in the NFL.

Next: Could the Cowboys actually lose David Irving?

With all the questions surrounding David Irving’s future and the down year from Malik Collins in 2017, if Vea is on the board at 19, he should receive strong consideration to being the Cowboys pick.