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2016 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock names five offensive line targets for the Eagles

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Who should the Birds draft?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Given how quarterback talk has dominated the conversation lately, it's almost easy to forget the Eagles have six other selections after picking No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Birds still have a lot of roster holes to address so it's important for them to make good use of their only day two pick at No. 79. One area where the Eagles need help in both the short-term and long-term is the offensive line. NFL draft guru Mike Mayock recently suggested a few mid-round blocking targets for the Eagles.

"Yeah, I think third round value, a guy that's rising right now, especially with coaches around the league, I can't even pronounce his first name, but his last name is Vaitai, Big "V" they call him from TCU," said Mayock while speaking in a pre-draft media conference call. "He's going to go in the third or fourth round, can play both sides, and the offensive line coaches around the league love him."

"I think Shon Coleman from Auburn could be there probably. Jerald Hawkins from LSU, more of a left tackle, narrow base guy, not as powerful as you'd like for a right tackle. Then some guys that I have in the fourth round but might go in the third round, Caleb Benenoch from UCLA. A guy on the rise, Alex Lewis from Nebraska. He could very well be a third-round tackle, and I think they're probably the logical conversation."

Here's a closer look at the players suggested by Mayock.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

First of all, awesome name. It's pronounced HAL-uh-POO-lih-VAH-tee VIE-tie. "Big V" is a really good nickname, too. But enough about that. Vaitai measures in at 6-6, 320 pounds. He started 30 games over the past three years for TCU. He played 13 games at right tackle in 2014 before moving over to left tackle in 2015. CBS Sports thinks Vaitai could move to guard in the NFL. Here's a scouting report via

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.

Shon Coleman

We've previously written about Coleman being a potential target for the Eagles. Here's what we said at the time.

"The 6-5, 307 Coleman turns 25 in November. He didn't play football during his first two years at Auburn because he was battling leukemia. Thankfully for him he was able to beat cancer and become a starter at left tackle. He started 25 games in 32 college career appearances. Here's a scouting report via"

Coleman's strengths and weaknesses are strikingly similar to those of former Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson, but Coleman lacks the same level of athleticism. Coleman uses his length and redirect strength to overcome some of his lunging and waist-­bending, but those issues will be highlighted against NFL edge rushers. Coleman is a long, talented run blocker who could garner early round attention at either tackle position if NFL teams are okay with their deep dive into his medicals.

Jerald Hawkins

Hawkins is another guy we've written about recently.

"The 22-year-old Jerald Hawkins is listed at 6-6, 305 pounds. Hawkins started every game at right tackle in 2014 before moving to left tackle in 2015. Here's a scouting report on Hawkins via"

Hawkins is a tough evaluation because the length and footwork in pass protection are promising, but issues with bend and body control may be difficult to correct. Hawkins has talent, but his ceiling might be tied directly to whether a team allows him to sit while an offensive line coach works to correct the technical flaws that limit his effectiveness. Hawkins best spot may be right tackle.

Caleb Benenoch

The 21-year-old Benenoch measures in at 6-5, 305 pounds. He has experience at both guard and right tackle. projects him as a backup.

Athletic prospect with some roster value as a tackle or guard, but concerns about his play strength could be an issue at either spot. Benenoch's tape at guard may have been better than his tackle tape, but moving inside requires more mass and power. Benenoch has the makeup of an NFL backup with potential to work into a lineup for a zone­-scheme team.

Benenoch is one of the fastest offensive lineman from this year's draft class. Just check out that spider graph:

Alex Lewis

Lewis checks in at 6-6, 312 pounds. He started and played 26 games at left tackle for the Cornhuskers over two seasons. Lewis was named a team captain. The Eagles showed interest in Lewis by interviewing him at this year's East-West Shrine Game. Here's the scouting report.

Lewis has enough frame and length to stay at tackle, but will need to move over to the right side even though he may be able to offer average value as a swing tackle. Run blocking in space will always be a concern and his foot quickness could cause issues for him against NFL speed off the edge. There is enough there to work with Lewis as a backup tackle.


The Eagles doesn't necessarily need to get an immediate starting offensive lineman from this year's draft. It seems the offensive line is mostly set for now. From left to right, the current projected line up is Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson. There could be a competition for Barbre's spot with Stefen Wisniewski, Andrew Gardner, and Malcolm Bunche in the mix.

But while the Birds might be OK in the short-term, the long-term is still obviously a big need. This could be the last year Peters plays. Johnson is expected to move to left tackle to replace him which means the Eagles will need a right tackle. Johnson's replacement could potentially be a player the Eagles draft this year and sit on the bench until he's ready to take over next season.