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NFL Draft Results: Eagles trade up to pick Australian rugby player at No. 233

The Eagles have a new offensive tackle project!

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With the 233rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select ... a man with no American football experience: Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata.

The Eagles were originally set to pick at No. 250 in the seventh round but they sent that pick AND one of their two 2019 seventh rounders to the New England Patriots in order to move up 17 spots. (Reminder: The Eagles defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.)

Mailata is one of the 30 prospects the Eagles hosted in Philly for an official pre-draft visit. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Mailata is a massive man who is trying to convert to offensive tackle. The 20-year-old recently measured in at 6-8, 346 pounds during a pro day in Florida.

His arms measured a massive 35.5 inches. He was timed at 5.12 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which would have been good for seventh among tackle participants at the NFL Combine in February. He also excelled in the short shuttle with a time (4.67 seconds) that would have been among the top 10 at his position. Mailata put up 22 reps on the bench press.

Mailata likely projects as a very late Day 3 pick at best. He could be an interesting undrafted free agent signing to take a chance on. The fact that the Eagles are one of the teams hosting him on a visit could help their chances of landing him if he goes unpicked.

Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland could potentially view Mailata as a developmental project. Offensive tackle is a long-term need for the Eagles so it can’t hurt to take a shot on a guy with some unconventional potential.

Mailata is a long shot to pan out but clearly Stoutland is interested in him. The Eagles have the luxury of trying to develop him with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson in place for the short-term.

Dare you to watch this video and tell me the Eagles shouldn’t have drafted this dude.

Here’s a scouting report from

Overview: Former Australian Rugby player who is starting from scratch in his attempt to transition from rugby to football. Mailata has never played a down of American football so attempting to learn the tackle position and perform it at the highest level makes this an extremely daunting challenge. What Mailata does have is rare size and physical gifts with the movement skills that give him a chance at a very challenging position. His pro day numbers were outstanding (40: 5.12 seconds; VJ: 28 inches; BJ: 8-10; short shuttle: 4.67 seconds; 3-cone: 8.03 seconds; bench: 22 lifts). Mailata has a good chance of being drafted as a long-shot ticket that an NFL team hopes they will be able to cash in a few years down the line.

Sources Tell Us: “Big dude, athletic. Someone will draft him late and he’s a project, but very much a freak athlete for his size.” -- NFC executive

Round Projection: Round 7/PFA

Remaining Eagles draft picks

2nd - No. 49 - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

4th - No. 125 - Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh

4th - No. 130 - Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

6th - No. 206 - Matt Pryor, OT, TCU

7th - No. 233 - Jordan Mailata, OT, Australian rugby player

Eagles top remaining needs

Running back


Punt returner


2018 NFL Draft schedule

  • Day 1: Round 1 – 10 minutes
  • Day 2: Round 2 – 7 Minutes, Round 3 – 5 Minutes Per Pick
  • Day 3: Rounds 4-6 – 5 Minutes Per Pick, Round 7 - 4 Minutes Per Pick

(Compensatory picks = 4 minutes)


How would you grade the Eagles’ selection of Jordan Mailata at No. 233?

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  • 40%
    (903 votes)
  • 33%
    (733 votes)
  • 18%
    (405 votes)
  • 4%
    (104 votes)
  • 2%
    (65 votes)
2210 votes total Vote Now

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