Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata is one of the most beloved players wearing the uniform right now. He can sing. He can block. He gets the fans. And he will do anything to protect his teammates.
That’s to say Mailata is far from a hidden gem in his new adopted hometown. He has arrived. However, the former Australian rugby star is still flying under the radar around the rest of the country despite his rapid ascension into one of the best left tackles in football. The national buzz is slowly catching up.
NFL Media’s Cynthia Frelund put Mailata on a list of the “NFL’s most underappreciated players” and mentioned his relatively cheap salary — $16 million per year, 11th among left tackles — as a big reason why so many people are sleeping on him. Here is what she wrote:
According to computer vision, Mailata was able to keep defenders away from runners behind him — or to the two gaps to either side of him — longer than any other left tackle in 2022. PFF gave him the ninth-best overall grade among all tackles last season. I really like tracking Mailata, as the former rugby player is still new to this game. Thus, he’s probably still a ways away from peak performance, which is frightening for all Eagles opponents.
Updated Eagles Depth Chart at Left Tackle
Andre Dillard is gone after inking a 3-year, $29 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in free agency. He’ll get a chance to earn a starting spot there, something that was off the table in Philly. Now the Eagles begin the hard task of finding a suitable backup for Jordan Mailata at left tackle.
Looking at the current depth chart, three candidates stand out from the crowd: Brett Toth (6-foot-6, 304 pounds), Roderick Johnson (6-foot-7, 302 pounds), and Fred Johnson (6-foot-7, 326). Mailata name-dropped “Rod and Fred” when discussing which guys might be his primary backup, half-joking because he didn’t want to give away the depth chart. Another contender for the job would be D.J. Fluker who the Eagles brought in for a workout earlier this week — if they decide to actually sign him, of course.
Mailata said: “We got a couple undrafted guys, and even the guys who were with us last year, we got Rod, we got Fred, so those guys — I’m not sure they’ve been in the league the same amount, even longer than I have — but we’re always trying find ways to sharpen our game and even if it’s just, for me, learning something from them that they do really well and something that I struggle at I’m going to take that advice.”
Jason Kelce Gives First Impressions on Jalen Carter
The Eagles traded up one spot to grab Georgia standout Jalen Carter at pick No. 9. He was supposed to go much higher until character concerns plummeted his draft stock. But Carter has played the part of the good soldier since landing in the nest, acing every test thrown at him and even impressing his new teammates.
All-Pro center Jason Kelce recalled meeting Carter during his pre-draft visit. He was really impressed by his meaty grip and powerful handshake.
“I saw him on his top 30 visit and shook his hand,” Kelce told Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “It was like shaking a big meat paw bear hand. He’s a very muscle-bound, mature physically-looking guy, who looks like physically he’s ready to play right away. We haven’t done a lot of football yet.”