When you think of great offensive linemen in Eagles history over the last two decades, the Eagles have produced the best of the best. Tra Thomas, Jon Runran, Evan Mathis ,Jason Peters, and Jason Kelce. Anyone with any football intelligence would recognize these names as ranging from outstanding to Hall of Famers. Where the Philadelphia Eagles really beat the odds was with Jordan Mailata.
Beating the Odds
These men and thousands and thousands more spent their entire lives from pee wee football all the way up to the pros. They spent the time learning their craft. They went to countless practices, watched hours of film, and pumped tons of iron. This was all in an effort to make the NFL.
The odds of a high school football player making the Pros is roughly that of being struck by lightning, something like .000075. This is living a football-structured life, eating, sleeping, and breathing it 24/7/365.
If you told a room full of scouts and coaches that you have an 18-year-old kid that’s 6”8 367 lbs, runs a 5.1 40 and wants to play offensive line, they’d be killing each other to be the first out the door, until you say “ in Australia. “ That sound you heard was all the breaks being applied hard. That brings us to Jordan Mialata, an 18-year-old Rugby player that saw the movie The Blind Side and fell in love with American football.
Jordan Mailata On the Scene
Mailata was spotted by NFL executives and invited to attend the IPPP ( international player pathway program), and in Feb of 2018, the IMG Academy in Florida, under the guidance of Aden Durde. He was scouted by Jeff Stoutland and here is where his Eagles journey began. Jordan was drafted # 233, round 7 in the 2018 draft. The best that could be said at the time was a project with potential as a backup.
After almost two seasons on the IR with back injuries, he got his chance in 2020. Mailata replaced Jason Peters because of injury. By the end of the 2020 season, Jordan was ranked in the top 15 tackles by Pro football focus. He was, more importantly, named the 2021 starter by Nick Sirianni. This brings me back to the odds against being a Pro. The fact that an Australian who never played one snap of football until 5 years ago now holds Arguably the second hardest position in the game. Well, they don’t make a calculator that can factor those odds against that.
Jordan is truly an unbelievable story that’s a long way from the final chapter. In the wake of great left tackles in Eagles history, I believe he will end his career as the best we have ever seen. The birds really beating the odds with Jordan Mailata.