Jordan Mailata: Rugby Star to Future Hall of Famer

The path to success has never been easy for Jordan Mailata. Being blessed with incredible size and athletic abilities, the sport he grew up loving was rugby. Rugby is arguable the most famous sport in Australia and that played a huge part in Jordan falling in love with the game. His father told him to go be great and that’s exactly what he set out to do.

Rugby isn’t built for a man of his stature and it definitely was a struggle for him to get people to want him on their team. Given his size and strength, Jordan was able to overpower those who dared to step in his path. His journey in Rugby seemed to hit a dead end when clubs weren’t extremely interested in signing him to contracts that he felt were worth his time and pay.

His agency decided that he should play a sport that appreciated his size. Mailata declined the offer from the South Sydney Rabbitohs. It was then that NFL executives reached out and invited Jordan to try out for their International Player Pathway Program. Jordan Mailata never played American football before and had minimal knowledge of the game. The only game he’d watch was the most famous game: The Super Bowl. When asked what position he’d like to play, Jordan suggested offensive tackled because he had seen the movie, “The Blind Side”.

In early 2018, Jordan went to IMG Academy in Florida. This is where the offensive line coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeff Stoutland, took notice of Jordan Mailata and his exceptional talent and potential. Scouts doubted Mailata because of his lack of experience playing American football. Stoutland knew it would take time, but saw a bright future in Jordan.

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jordan Mailata with the 233rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. It was expected that he wouldn’t play for a couple seasons as they got him reps playing tackle and time to learn the nuances of the game/position. Jordan’s first two season ended with him being on the Injured Reserve list. Mailata questioned if this was the right thing to be doing, but Jeff Stoutland reiterated that it would click for Jordan soon.

The opening game of 2020, Jordan saw his first professional snaps. After future Hall of Famer Jason Peters got injured, Mailata took over at left tackle and had some ups and downs, but showed incredible growth and promise before finishing the season with a concussion. The Eagles liked what they saw from Mailata and would entrench him in a position battle to be the starting left tackle.

Jordan Mailata did not disappoint. Jordan took this opportunity and ran with it. Being as impressive as he was, the Philadelphia Eagles awarded him a 4-year, 64-million-dollar contract based on his performance and his potential. Mailata had now set himself and his family up for generations because of his hard work and determination. Mailata was now a superstar in a sport that people doubted him being able to play. Jordan had overcome the odds and became a star left tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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