Preseason Stats: 4 games played, 1 game started
Regular Season Stats: 7 games played, 6 games started, 1 false start penalty, 3 sacks allowed
The Philadelphia Eagles selected rookie offensive lineman Halapulivaati Vaitai or “Big V” in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Vaitai was the main replacement at the tackle position during teammate Lane Johnson’s suspension.
Standing at 6’6”, Vaitai has the perfect size to be a future starting tackle for the Eagles once veteran Jason Peters retires. Like the other rookies from his draft class, Vaitai was thrown under the fire and had to learn quickly how the NFL works. Vaitai’s first game against the Redskins was nothing more than a typical rookie game, but after that he soon started to pick it up and get a feel for the flow of a regular season game.
The most important aspect that Vaitai changed as a part of his learning process was his technique. In an interview, Big V said that after getting accustomed to what the NFL was all about he said, “I feel like I can be successful here” and Eagles fans hope he sure can.
Brendan Walker is an NFL Analyst and Editor for Pro Football Spot. You can follow Brendan on Twitter at @BWalkerASU