What if Jordan Mailata was able to take the next step and make the Philadelphia Eagles roster? What if he switched to another role to do so?
Tell the truth. Deep down inside, for whatever reason, you’re just pulling for Jordan Mailata to fully grasp this NFL thing and make this Philadelphia Eagles roster. Not too long ago, the Eagles brass decided it was a good idea to take former rugby stars, reprogram them and put them on an NFL playing field.
The first attempt was with Adam Zaruba. He’s a member of the Canada national rugby sevens team. His CFL rights belong to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but Philly’s investment in him during the 2017 and 2018 seasons never materialized into him becoming the tight end Doug Pederson and company wanted him to become.
Mailata was Philly’s final selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was taken 233rd overall. He made the 53-man roster on September 1st but was placed on the team’s injured reserve without appearing in a single game on December 14th.
Eagles coaches and fans have had hopes that he can evolve into a solid left tackle, but with Philly’s selection of Andre Dillard in the most recent draft, with a legend, Jason Peters, already being on the roster, and with the way the coaches have always been behind Halapoulivaati Vaitai, we aren’t quite as certain about whether or not Mailata can work his way onto this year’s 53-man roster.
We haven’t even brought up guys like Matt Pryor, but before you cut Mailata in your own minds, consider this. What if he could, simply, be placed somewhere else?
Prior to Philly’s first practice of rookie minicamp, the subject of cross training some of the guys we expect to play on the outside of the line of scrimmage came up. Pederson shared his thoughts on that. Take a look:
"That’s (been) part of our plan all along… We cross train a lot of guys, and that’s been a big part of the success we’ve had, being able to (do so).. A guy like Isaac (Seumalo) for instance.. He’s played tackle. He’s played center. He’s obviously secure at guard right now, but yeah, we cross train guys and make sure we’re covered at all bases."
With that being said, could Mailata follow in the footsteps of Isaac Seumalo and play multiple positions? He seems to have grasped the game of American football (a game he never played before last season).
Could a move to the other tackle position benefit both he and Philly? Is he better suited to get kicked inside? What happens with ‘Big V’? Will he be traded? Will he be on Philly’s final 53-man roster? If he is, does any of this even matter?
There’s a lot to be sorted out. The development of Dillard will go a long way in deciding how it happens. This should be an interesting couple of months.