An Australian rugby player named after Michael Jordan will be spending the upcoming season in the City of Brotherly Love.
Jordan Mailata, a 6-foot-8, 346-pound athletic specimen who is trying to make the transition from rugby to football, was selected 233rd overall in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“It’s been an absolute brainstorm of an experience,”
Mailata said on NFL Draft Live on Saturday.
It was unknown heading into the draft whether Mailata would hear his name called this weekend heading into the draft, but it appears Philly is willing to give him a chance at potentially earning a spot on the team’s offensive line this summer.
Mailata’s physical attributes likely were difficult for most NFL scouts and general managers to ignore. At only 20 years old, he offers plenty of potential upside if he continues to make progress in his training.
It makes sense that the Eagles drafted Mailata. He told James News before the draft that he had a memorable visit with Philadelphia offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
“After the first set of meetings with him doing board and film work, every other meeting I had [with other coaches and front office personnel], he was just in,” Mailata said. “The ever-presence of a man, out of nowhere he would just pop up to see what I was doing.”
Mailata’s staying realistic about his goals for 2018. He knows he’s facing a steep uphill climb to making the Eagles’ 53-man roster. He’s sticking to a three-year plan with the ultimate goal of playing in a regular season game within the next three years.
It remains to be seen whether Mailata will accomplish that dream.