Enormous 20-year-old Mailata is the latest cross-code experiment in the NFL after the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, selected the South Sydney Rabbitoh as No233 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, as a projected offensive lineman.
Mailata has no experience in organized football. Just watching the process since the draft ended, I think we're going to be all right after the draft. It's to be determined how his transition to the gridiron will go, but the tools are obvious.
With his days numbered at the Rabbitohs his agent chose to create a highlight reel to try to entice other league clubs. He visited the Eagles earlier this month and has been training at IMG Academy in Florida. Each day, he spent over four hours working out then another three hours studying film. "But in the end, they knew who they drafted in 2012 in me being a rugby player and they understood this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and they have shown nothing but support through this entire journey".More news: Demonstrations resume in Armenia following opposition leader's call
It was a grueling workout, both mentally and physically, Mailata says. "It wasn't like I did anything yet", he said.
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman announced Saturday that the team has re-signed running back Darren Sproles after his 2017 campaign was cut short in Week 3, when he suffered a torn ACL and broken arm.
"I knew if I made the decision, I'd be all in", said Mailata, who looks dominant running with the ball and knocking tacklers over in highlight videos.
The reason - Stoutland (below) decided that the eager young giant was "coachable".More news: NBC Nightly News Covers Allegations Against Former Anchor Tom Brokaw
But the stat that really made the National Football League scouts stand up and take notice was time over 40-yards - 5.12 secs.
Even though he met with multiple teams before the draft, Mailata never actually thought anyone would select him. Philly was the one that grabbed him.
The International Pathway Program determined that Mailata would become an offensive tackle.More news: Fmr. NASCAR driver James Hylton & son killed in Franklin Co. crash
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