Will this be the year we finally see Jordan Mailata on the field?
The former Australian rugby player was drafted in 2018 only being the second player drafted with no prior American football experience. Entering his third season, Mailata has yet to play a single regular-season game with the Birds due to being on injured reserve the last two seasons. It’s been a little difficult to tell whether or not he’s been learning since he’s been struggling with back issues in the last two years and only had preseason reps.
The Eagles have drafted a couple of OT’s this offseason and re-signed Jason Peters, so if the Mailata experiment fails, then they at least have some options, but I would like to see a way for this experiment to workout. He’s had a string of bad luck with injuries but as long as he continues to improve and stay healthy, someone his size could be a weapon on that line if educated properly.
At 6'8, 346 pounds, he’s an athletic machine, and willing to learn a sport he’s never played before. I’m all for giving someone a chance, so why not give it to a guy that could probably crush you with his pinky. With Andre Dillard dealing with an injury and listed as day-to-day, Mailata has been getting reps with the first-team offense at left tackle. Putting him out there on that line will test him appropriately, and I think it will be a good indicator for the team to see if they want to hang onto this 'bloke'.
Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland believes he has the ability to become a competent offensive tackle the Eagles have been training him to be. Stoutland claims the confidence Mailata has been showing recently during their meetings has been a welcomed sight.
So with the season only a few weeks away, will Mailata finally get his time on the field in the regular season? We should see the results soon.