It’s been ten days since Jordan Mailata signed a new $64-million contract, completing a fairytale in the process. Since then, the Aussie has predictably lived up to the price-tag and then some, demonstrating exactly why he has been maid the blindside protector of Jalen Hurts.
In week one, Mailata was instrumental in Jalen Reagor’s screen-pass that went all the way to the house for a touchdown. Catching the ball behind the line of scrimmage, Reagor needed his linemen to clear a path for him. The former seventh-round pick could’ve parted the Red Sea with his demolishing block on former UCF Safety Richie Grant. It caught national attention and embodied what everyone loves about the left tackle – his heart and relentless work ethic. He’d need all of that and more if he was to shine against his week two matchup.
Mailata had gone up against some fierce pass-rushers last season and held up very well. You could argue that Niners EDGE Nick Bosa would present one of his toughest challenges yet. There was a lot of anticipation surrounding the matchup. Sure, the 6’8 former rugby player has developed at a rapid rate, but was it a speed quick enough to handle all that one of the premier edge rushers in the NFL could throw at him?
Bosa started off his season with a sack against Detroit, making up for lost time after an injury ripped 2020 away from him. In the season beforehand, he amassed 9 sacks as a rookie, along with a whopping 25 QB hits. That success did show itself against the Eagles as well, with Bosa getting to Hurts on two occasions…one of which came at the expense of Mailata (although not according to PFF?)
However in 33 snaps lined up against the Ohio State product, that’s all Mailata allowed – one sack. PFF shows there being 0 QB pressures and hits, although the one sack from Bosa would surely change that. With that said, being able to limit one of the most explosive weapons in the entire league to a single sack is pretty good going for anyone. For a left tackle who has only 12 starts to his name, it’s beyond impressive.
Outside of how impressive Mailata looked in terms of pass-blocking, his desire to pick up fallen ball-carriers as the ultimate teammate shone through exactly as it did last year. He’s not the only offensive lineman to do this, but he’s easily the first to the scene on any given play and by far the most consistent.
Mailata is being paid like one of the big boys now and as a result is expected to perform like one. The good news is, the Eagles are already seeing plenty of evidence that he was worth every single penny.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire