Jordan Mailata channelled his inner rugby league player but showed he still has a lot to learn as he continues to chase his American dream.
The 156kg, 203cm Australian beast played junior footy with South Sydney before heading Stateside to try and make it as an NFL star.
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After being chosen in the seventh round of the 2018 Draft, injury ruined his 2019 campaign but Mailata finally debuted at right tackle for Philadelphia in the season-opener last month.
His Eagles lost a 30-28 nailbiter against Baltimore on Monday morning (AEDT) and Mailata was in the thick of the action.
Part of an offensive line that was missing some key personnel, the 23-year-old giant absolutely nailed Ravens star Chuck Clark with a hit the biggest boys in the NRL would be proud of.
With three minutes to go in the first quarter, Philly quarterback Carson Wentz faked to pass then ran himself, but the ball came loose after he was met by three Baltimore defenders.
Clark picked up the ball but bearing down on him was Mailata, who started the play at left tackle. Clark may have had dreams of sprinting downfield but his Aussie opponent had other ideas, flattening the American with a brutal tackle that jarred the ball free again.
But Mailata’s education will continue after he looked to be guilty of an illegal act — and a poor defensive read — on the Eagles’ final play late in the fourth quarter as they attempted a two-point conversation to level the scores up at 30-30.
The big unit jumped early — but officials missed his infringement and no flag was thrown — before he blocked the wrong man. Mailata cut inside and the opponent he should have been guarding was then left free to pressure Wentz, who was unable to deliver a matchwinning moment.
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Despite the slip-up, Mailata was impressive overall for a team that was savaged by local media for a bumbling loss.
Speaking earlier this year, Mailata was optimistic about graduating from a rare physical specimen with potential into a player who could actually make meaningful contributions on the field.
“I am very confident and very prepared to do whatever it takes to be on this team and perform at a high level that the coaches expect of me,” Mailata told NBC Sports in August.
“I mean, it’s my third year going into league and I’m feeling very confident this year in my playbook and my skills, and my ability. So, I feel like I have very well prepared to take on the task ahead.”
The Eagles have now won just a single game from their first six attempts this season.