Former Rabbitohs under 20s player, Jordan Mailata, is making a name for himself in the NFL, earning himself a starting position for the Philadelphia Eagles at Left Tackle for the upcoming NFL season.
Mailata, who is 6-foot 8-inches tall and weighs in at over 150kg, was a member of the Rabbitohs’ under 20s squad in 2017, playing 12 games and scoring eight tries.
Mailata worked hard to get his weight down into the 140kg bracket while at the Rabbitohs, but after making the switch to the NFL in their Pathways Program, he was asked to put the weight back on to play in the vitally important role of Left Tackle. Left Tackle is the position that defends the blindside of the Quarterback and blocks defenders from getting to the Quarterback and the Running Backs. If a Left Tackle doesn’t do their job, the Quarterback is in danger on each and every play. Left Tackle is considered to be the second most important player on the field, besides the Quarterback.
Mailata, who wears number 68 for the Philadephia Eagles, will be the starting Left Tackle when the season begins next weekend with the Eagles taking on the Atlanta Falcons in week one of the NFL competition.
The Philadephia Eagles’ Head Coach Nick Sirianni has confirmed that Jordan will be the starting Left Tackle come week one.
"Jordan had a great camp. Andre (Dillard) had a great camp. Andre missed some time and during that time, the chemistry with the offensive line was able to build. Jordan did a good job winning that position," Sirianni said.
Reports suggest Mailata is currently on a contract of around US$1.2 million per season, however as a starting Left Tackle he could earn in excess of US$20 million per season when he signs his next contract.
Jordan is extremely proud of his heritage, wearing an Australian flag on the back of his Philadephia Eagles helmet when he plays.
He also looks fondly upon his time with the Rabbitohs, saying: “They gave me a chance. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
At the NFL draft in 2018, instead of having a college listed as his team of origin, the team listed on the official draft was ‘South Sydney Rabbitohs’.
After leaving the Rabbitohs, Jordan took part in the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program with an eye to earning a spot on an NFL team’s 53-man roster. He was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft in 233rd position by the Philadelphia Eagles who took a punt on the young Australian who had never played American Football before this attempt. It was a gamble that is paying big dividends today.
Jordan is fondly remembered from his time at the Rabbitohs, a gentle giant off the field that played whole-heartedly on the field.
Congratulations to Jordan on his starting position with the Philadephia Eagles from everyone at the Rabbitohs. We’ll be cheering on #68 over the upcoming NFL season!