Is Halapoulivaati Vaitai an Upgrade from Rick Wagner?

Here’s and interesting article that compares the two.
Read the article for the comparison.

The writer doesn’t think he will play OG and is
expecting him to be our RT.

Also, in the one game Vaitai predominantly played right guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, he recorded the lowest Pro Football Focus grade of any game in his career.

A couple other points from the article.

So, Wagner actually has a higher cap hit for the Lions than he does for the Packers in 2020.

I didn’t realize this but found it laughable.

The article kinda makes me wonder why we didn’t just keep Wagner?

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While I’m glad Wagner is gone, I’m reserving judgment on Vaitai. If it’s a net gain in talent, I’m all for it.

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Wagner is a injury prone revolving door of a T…

Glad we moved on from him, and as far as an upgrade goes with Vaitai, nobody knows yet but I’ll take my chances with him!!!

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to me wagner was the biggest BQ acquisition to date. There was a lot of excitement about getting him 4 years ago and he just never lived up to that hype at all. He was always lacking, never worthy of the money we paid him. Kinda understand why the ravens made him available in the first place.

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If they were exactly the same players, big V would be four years younger. We have an unproven starter with 30 games NFL experience. That is better than a rookie. He has a proven run blocking skill set, which is something the team values, so pre-judging the move without facts is pure conjecture at this point.

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When I watched the games (which you all can do for free on gamepass for another couple of months), I found Wagner to be the guy committing the most gaffs. NONE of our starting OL were trash, however they WERE each capable of shooting themselves in the foot, bar none. Wagner showed up the most with the gaff hat. All that said, Big V and Crosby have the potential to be an upgrade, but it’s going to be a wait-and-see.

Dude, you lost me at Crosby. Crosby has looked as bad, if not worse, than any O-lineman I can remember.
Wagner has a better shot at regaining his old self than Crosby does becoming better, IMO.

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I think it is clear that Wagner had his worst season here in 2019 which is also the first year with our new OC Bevell. I believe the Lions feel like Wagner was a poor fit for what the Lions want to do with the OL now and that Wagner wasn’t going to get better here in 2020. So pull the band aid now. I also think the rest of the league spoke as the Lions released V. trading Wagner.

Rick played his college ball in WI and I think he is glad to be there, signing a very team friendly del with the Pack.

It is clear the Lions felt like Rick could not rebound here as he is miscast in this new OL direction. And by letting Graham walk they appear to feel the same way about him. We had the $ to re-sign Graham if we wanted him but in looking at what Vaitai does well (run block) I think the Lions are moving to a power scheme now and were in 2019. Or at least elements of that as most teams mix schemes.

My guess is the Lions want a true ROG now. A guy I am eyeing is Larry Warford. He is in the last year of his deal with the Saints now, they are cash strapped, Larry turns 29 in June abd he has history here. The draft can also provide help too. Maybe Josh Simpson?

So in this scheme is Vaitai an upgrade? It is clear the Lions think so. We will have to see it on the field and that will wait for a while.

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Age wise and value wise, I think so. Upside too.

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I’m not comfortable with him.

He’s been objectively poor at pass blocking his whole career and our quarterback isn’t as mobile as the guys he’s blocked for in the past.

I’m assuming we are going to be heavy pass action this year and maybe that saves him.

It’s really interesting to me we grabbed a player like him because he fits Seattle’s scheme perfectly.

If these guys don’t get the broom I’ll be shocked if this time next year a mobile quarterback doesn’t get drafted.

I don’t have much faith in either of those scenarios panning out.

I realize I’m on thin ice with Crosby, but…
He took 100% of the snaps for the last 3 games. The best OLinemen is one whose name you don’t hear. Do you remember hearing his name at the end of the season? Like, I had even forgotten that he played that much.

I’ll have to watch those games again. Most of my time has been watching the DL this off-season. I’ll jump on gamepass to see just how nervous I should be.

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Yeah, Von Miller gave Crosby fits…but Von can do that to even good O-linemen…but last year was a down year for Von.

From PFF:
Tyrell Crosby filled in for the injured veteran Rick Wagner at left tackle, and had a lot of struggles throughout while in pass pro. He struggled to handle the speed of Denver’s edge rushers, especially Von Miller , and surrendered more than a handful of pressures as a result.

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Yeah but at least Wagner has been there before, Crosby hopes some day to have a year as good as Wagner has had.

VLG remembers that I was the one who said a day or two before that draft to not be surprised if we drafted Crosby,…it just ended up being a round or two later than I thought. I was excited, I thought we got a steal but he’s been nothing short of a huge disappointment since being here, his play anyways.

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Yes, he is an upgrade.

Unfortunately that may be like saying a Nickleback concert is an upgrade from a Jonas Bros. concert.

We shall see

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Me either and I’m definitely not all that comfortable with who and what we have at OG.

Feels like we could be drafting a few OL in this draft doesn’t it?

They weren’t looking at Crosby, the Left Tackle was Decker. I know, just funny because Decker had a horrible start to the year and had difficulty against fast or slow DEs.

I think they just accidentally wrote LT instead of RT.

I know, just thought it was humorous because the comments could have equally well applied to Decker as well.

Some of the beatwriters have said that Decker’s play improved after the 1st month or so, and that he wasn’t that bad over the 2nd half. Ain’t saying they were right or wrong. In any case, I suspect the Lions knew they weren’t going to be able to replace both Wagner and Decker this year, so they kept the better player of the 2. I suspect (hope) that they draft a decent LT prospect, cuz frankly I don’t have a lot of faith in Crosby. I thought he looked God-awful in PS and didn’t improve much as the season wore on.