Eagles draft Halapoulivaati Vaitai in 5th round

May 1st, 2016 by Sam Shipley | Filed under Eagles, NFL.

For the second time in four picks in the draft, the Eagles addressed the offensive line. This time around they selected Halapoulivaati Vaitai, a offensive tackle from TCU. Vaitai, 6’6″, 320 lbs, has experience playing both left and right tackle, however, some scouts believe he is better suited for right tackle or even guard.

Here is NFL.com’s scouting report on Vaitai:

PRO DAY RESULTS

Bench: 27 reps of 225 pounds
Vertical: 32 inches
Short shuttle: 4.56 seconds
3-cone: 7.7 seconds

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

Has played both right and left tackle spots at TCU. Shows decent lateral quickness off the snap on zone runs. Adequate athleticism in space as run blocker. Well-­schooled and shows some technical savvy. Looks to land first and with inside hand as pass protector. Keeps head up and chin tucked on most of his pass sets. Able to see twists and games up front and is rarely fooled by them.

WEAKNESSES

Too stiff-­legged and upright after the snap. Can give ground to bull rushers due to high pad level. Very poor hand strength and is inconsistent with arm extension. Lacks strength in hands to latch on and control a rep and allows defenders to break away from him. Very average foot quickness for power step back to challenge inside moves. Doesn’t gain enough ground to the edge in shuffle slides and will be beaten around the corner by athletic, NFL rushers.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Rounds 5 or 6

BOTTOM LINE

Vaitai has been a full-time starter over the last two seasons for a successful TCU squad, but doesn’t have the plus athleticism to play left tackle or the hand strength and core power to start on the right side. Despite decent technique and football intelligence, may be too lacking in physical qualities to make the NFL leap.

Follow Sam Shipley on Twitter: @samshipley5

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