For over the last half decade or so, one of the biggest complaints about the Eagles franchise has been their lack of young, high end talent. However, over the past few seasons, the team has drafted and traded for a number of young players that have already had an impact.
This list will rank the top 5 players on this Eagles team who are 25 years of age or younger. The only other rule is that the players cannot be rookies, as it’s not really fair to rank a player who has never played professionally before. While these players are very young in their football careers, they still have significant roles on this team.
#2: Jordan Mailata
Coming in at second place on my ranking list is fourth year left tackle, Jordan Mailata. The big Australian has had a storybook NFL career so far and he looks to only improve upon his spectacular 2021 season. First, I just want to remind everyone just how improbable it is that Mailata is even in this situation. Five years ago, he had never played a single snap of football, was living all the way across the world and was running people over in rugby.
The 6’8”, 365 pound lineman was drafted in the 7th round of the NFL draft, pick number 233, and was only discovered by viral videos of him dominating the National Rugby League in Australia. He was seen as the type of low risk, high reward type of player that fans dream of, and he has already surpassed those expectations after really only playing in about 2 seasons worth of games with the Eagles. Mailata also missed his first 2 seasons entirely with injury and was still able to learn a professional sport at an elite level.
While his story is inspiring, his play on the field is astounding at times. NFL offensive lineman are some of the biggest and strongest people you’ll ever see and Jordan Mailata is among the biggest and the strongest. He was a brick wall to play against in 2021. Per ProFootballFocus, Mailata only allowed a total of 3 sacks all year and finished third among all qualified tackles, with an overall rating of 88.3 out of a scale to 100. While statistics are relatively minimal for offensive lineman because of the nature of the position, the fact that Mailata is highly ranked in 2 of the more important ones is still very telling.
When you watch a game, rarely do the offensive lineman stand out, unless they’re doing something wrong, but the Eagles’ left tackle is just so fun to watch in the best ways. He is immovable in the passing game and absolutely mauls smaller defenders in the running game. There is also just this toughness to his game that gives him even more of an edge over others at his position.
His size alone is enough to intimidate whoever’s lined up across from him and if you dare to go after him, he will not back down. In the week 11 game against New Orleans, Saints’ defensive lineman Marcus Davenport had pushed Jalen Hurts out of bounds and Jordan Mailata made sure to let Davenport know how he felt about it later in the game by blocking him all the way to the ground and pancaking him.
Jordan Mailata in a very short amount of time has established himself as one of the premier left tackles in the National Football League. His story and rise to being an NFL player is incredible and the man has lived up to the legend with the Eagles.
His first career start occurred because of an injury to the previous Eagles’ franchise left tackle, Jason Peters, and it seems the Eagles have seamlessly transitioned from one to the next. Howie Roseman took a chance on a lottery ticket and scored big for what could be the rest of the decade.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire