Australian Jordan Mailata has proven to be a rare light for the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this season.
On Monday (AEDT) the Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz got out of hand again without his offensive line and recipient first choice in a 30:28 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens.
One late rise from Wentz and Co. wasn’t enough as Philadelphia fell to 1-4-1 that season; Just one win from the first six games. But here too, Mailata was impressive. The 23-year-old and constantly improving former Souths Junior looks very much like Jason Peters’ longtime successor.
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And while it’s his pass protection that keeps him in a job, it was a rare defensive game that gave a glimpse into the raw athleticism of the 6-foot-8,156-pound beast that the Eagles drew from in the seventh round of the draft 2018.A little more than three minutes before the end of the first quarter, Wentz decided to keep the ball and run down the left side of the field. He was quickly hit by a bunch of Ravens tacklers, however, and DeShon Elliott stripped him off.
The ball fell on Baltimore’s Chuck Clark. But when he appeared in the field, there was Mailata, working his way over to chaos. The big # 68, who channeled Clark his league days with some NFL flavor, knocked the ball out before completing a textbook tackle.
Baltimore was able to reclaim the second loose ball but it didn’t affect Mailata’s special game or a day he was once again a standout player on the offensive line.
Mailata Tackle begräbt Raven
After making his regular NFL debut in Week 1, Mailata has worked its way into the Eagles’ starting unit, largely due to injury.
Mailata made its first start in Week 4 against San Francisco and did enough to keep his job against Pittsburgh last week.
“In the case of Jordan Mailata, it’s his job as long as he plays well in the near future,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson after Mailata gave up zero sacks, zero QB hits and just one rush to give up the 49ers.
“But at the same time, we understand that if JP (Jason Peters) is healthy, that is a decision that we must make at this particular point in time.”
Talk of Mailata’s future with the Eagles has been promising, and another solid performance against Baltimore for a third straight start is a sign that he may be more complete than we imagined.
At 38 years of age and fighting injuries, Peters is nothing more than a short-term solution for the Eagles in a left duel. And it’s not particularly clear that he’s a better bandaid on the offensive than Mailata proving he can do the job noweven when he’s not around where he can be.
It’s a welcome development for Mailata that hasn’t always been that secure.
Philadelphia designed Andre Dillard with the 22nd overall win in the 2019 design; with the offensive attack expected to take that LT point on the line. But a bicep injury ruled Dillard out for the entire 2020 season, and now Mailata, who has spent time at the other end of the line – the right tackle – has established his place on the left.
“Mailata could be the greatest revelation,” Jeff McLane wrote recently for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“There has always been a kind of freak show interest in the left tackle because it was drafted as a newbie and it’s immense. But he has clearly shown that he can at least keep up at this level. ”
“… If Mailata is technically flawless, there may be no edge breaker to get past it.”
NBC Sports’ Dave Zangaro said, “I see a 6-foot-8 monster that has come such a long way in three years and has a chance to be really good if it keeps playing and stacking games.”
Mailata hadn’t played a bit of football when the Eagles designed it in 2018.
It turns out he’s quick to learn.
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