Eagles 5th-round Pick: TCU OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai

After going two years without drafting an offensive lineman - the only team in the league to do so - the Eagles have now taken two this year.

With their second pick in the fifth round (164th overall), the Eagles selected TCU's Halapoulivaati Vaitai (see bio).

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Vaitai, conveniently known as "Big V", started at right tackle as a junior and left tackle last season as a senior and earned second team All-Big 12 honors both years. He earned his first start as a sophomore, when he played both left and right tackle. 

But first things first. 

"A lot of my friends call me V, or Big V or Vaitai," Vaitai said. 

Except for maybe his mom.

"She calls me V, but when I'm in trouble, she uses the whole name," he said.

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Vaitai said he's named after his uncle on his father's side, and his two brothers, Kevin and William, are named after relatives on his mom's side of the family. At one time the three formed the left side of the Haltom High School (Texas) O-line. 

"I guess I got the lucky name," he said.

The Eagles are hoping they got lucky in the fifth round.

"Tremendous size. Length. He's got all the tools," Eagles personnel head Howie Roseman said. "Now it's gotta come together for him."

Which is the project for the Eagles' coaches.

"They would take him anywhere in the draft because of the rare tools that he has," Roseman said. "He's got all the tools in his body to be a good player. He's gotta get more consistent. That's why he went in the fifth round. But when you're talking about our team and what we need going forward, this is something we need - a big, athletic body to work with at tackle."

Roseman said they considered some tackles in the third round but instead chose guard Isaac Seumalo. Before making the selection, the Eagles had a chance to trade the pick but turned it down.

"We got lucky because of the relationship we have with that team, that we asked where they were looking, what side of the ball, and they gave us some information," Roseman said. "After we picked him, they told [us] they were going to pick Isaac. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut there."

In addition to Seumalo, the Eagles also signed guard Brandon Brooks in free agency. Brooks will start at right guard, Seumalo will compete for a starting spot on the left side, and Vaitai will add needed depth behind incumbent tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. 

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