UDFA Profile: RB Vai Taua

Can Taua be a successful short yardage back in Buffalo?

RB Vai Taua

5’10, 220 lbs.

Taua is a compact style runner who knows how to get small in the hole and then bust out into the open field. He has the ideal build for a back who you use between the tackles to help move the pile. He has a thick lower body that allows him to generate a lot of power while running. He also does a good job of keeping his legs churning through the hole.

Taua has a good habit of falling forward and he will often gain 2-3 extra yards after taking a hit. He does a good job of using his stature to lower his shoulder and run over smaller DB’s in the open field. He doesn’t offer much in terms of elusivness or hip wiggle, though.

At times, especially later the in game, Taua has a tendency to run with a high pad level. This may be due to endurance concerns or just a lack of disciplined technique. Running that way eliminates the advantages his stature and running style naturally allow him to have over defenders.

Taua is not going to be a breakaway back in the NFL. He will be able to rip off decent runs because of the power he runs with, but he’s not going to outrun many defenses. His role will need to be as a change of pace back who can pick up tough yards.

With the Bills he fits as a back who can come in on 3rd and short or in the redzone and convert some difficult runs to keep the chains moving. The Bills currently lack that option in their backfield and if Taua can beat out Emmanuel Moody and give the Bills a reason to want a 4th RB, then he has a shot to stick. In the end I think Moody offers a similar ability to Taua but with more upside.

Prediction: Cut

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Nevada, Training Camp

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