Eagles trade up in seventh round to draft an Australian rugby player


COULD THIS TEAM GET ANY MORE UNPREDICTABLE?! The Philadelphia Eagles spent their final draft pick in peculiar fashion. It wasn’t used on a linebacker, running back or safety. Instead, they drafted a second offensive lineman…but that’s not all.

The Eagles traded up with the New England Patriots, giving them a 2019 seventh rounder as well as the pick swap in order to poach this Rugby star. What’s his name?

Jordan Mailata.

At 6’8, 346 lbs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs star has an incredibly rare physical skillset, as well as impressive size.

35.5 inch arms, a 5.12 40-yard dash and a 4.67 yard short shuttle headline a phenomenal list of tangibles for an offensive lineman. Oh, and did I mention he’s just 20 years old? The ceiling is incredibly high.

His story is just as exciting. A player who was met with a life-changing decision, to give up a rugby career that wasn’t paying him full-time wages, fly across the world and work out in Los Angeles. That decision has led to him being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. You can read that story here:

An excerpt from the story on NFL.com sites how Mailata felt when he met with the reigning Super Bowl champions, just one of the teams who had caught wind of his stunning athleticism and sought to learn more.

He says his visit to Philadelphia was memorable for two reasons: How welcoming the people were that he bumped into at the airport, and how much attention Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland paid to him.

“After the first set of meetings with him doing board and film work, every other meeting I had (with other coaches and front office personnel), he was just in,” Mailata said, laughing. “The ever-presence of a man, out of nowhere he would just pop up to see what I was doing.”

The Eagles clearly wanted to do their homework on this relentless athlete…and it’s not hard to see why:

Mailata will have a chance to earn his spot on the team’s 53-man roster this offseason, but will likely be a huge project for Stoutland to undertake. Either way, what a fantastic story this truly is and what a brilliant way to end the draft.


Mandatory Photo Credit: rabbitohs.com.au