Rick Osentoski/Associated Press
One of the more puzzling preseason developments has been the inexplicably poor performance by right tackle LaAdrian Waddle.
As an undrafted rookie in 2013, Waddle took the league by storm after ascending to the starting role halfway through the season. His run blocking was outstanding, and he appeared to be an integral piece of a strong offensive line.
That 2013 Waddle is missing in action.
He has not responded well at all to the open competition with Corey Hilliard. While the veteran has not been real impressive in his own right, Hilliard has been the much better player throughout the preseason.
It was never more evident than at Ford Field last Friday. Hilliard got the start in the dress rehearsal game and played quite well. He threw a key block on Reggie Bush's 86-yard touchdown run and didn't allow any rushers to sniff Matthew Stafford in the pocket.
Waddle played with the second unit, and he struggled despite mostly facing Jacksonville's reserves. Here's how Pro Football Focus graded them out:
Waddle was also flagged for a penalty, which was declined.
What has gone wrong for Waddle? I offered my technical assessment at Detroit Lions Draft, noting Waddle "isn’t getting the arm extension he needs, and he’s not sinking his hips to generate power as well as he did a year ago."
He's in no real danger of being cut, but it's still disturbing when an up-and-coming, healthy youngster plays his way out of a starting role.