Jordan Mailata is going to be one of the most intriguing rookies to follow from the 2018 NFL Draft class, considering the fact he was drafted by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles despite having zero football experience. Instead, Mailata’s first impression on NFL teams was an insane highlight video from his time as a rugby league player for the for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia.
Mailata, who stands an imposing 6-foot-8, 346-pounds, can be seen running through would-be tacklers with ease and leveling opponents who are running with the ball.
The Eagles, however, have drafted Mailata as a project offensive lineman.
Mailata earned the opportunity to train at IMG in Florida for the past few months after his agent sent his highlight reel to the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
Here is a look at what they saw:
As for what Mailata knows about the sport of American football, here are his own words, via ESPN.com:
“Mate, as little as peanuts.
“The last three or four months have not been easy at all,” he said. “Mentally challenging as well as physically. Trying to understand the basics and the fundamentals of football has been a great task. Little knowledge before I came in, but I can happily say now that I can understand concepts and a beginning to have a step in the right direction.”
Despite that lack of knowledge of the game, his raw physical talent led to visits with the Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets.
Ultimately, he landed in Philadelphia and will now continue his journey in the NFL.
While Maitala has plenty of work to do if he is ever going to see the field, it is going to be fun to watch the former rugby standout continue to develop throughout minicamps and the preseason. If he impresses the Eagles enough, he could find himself on the practice squad for his rookie year.