Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Mailata survives his first NFL start

Jordan Mailata (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jordan Mailata (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The next man up at left tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles was ready to go.

It wasn’t a disaster. Former rugby player and current Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata held his own in his first NFL start. Not too many fans expected him to play as well as he did. In fact, it’s safe to say that most of Philadelphia were probably expecting a disaster, yet the six-foot-eight, 346-pound tackle did not flinch when his number was called upon heading into this game.

Measurables are great and having size can certainly help an offensive lineman but if they don’t have technique, it’s useless. That’s why Jason Kelce has been able to have such a productive career despite not being the biggest man on the line. Many critiqued him for being undersized coming into the league, but he’s become one of the most technically sound centers in the league.

The false start penalty did not come in a good spot but other than that, the 23-year-old might have outplayed San Francisco 49ers’ left tackle Trent Williams who had a terrible night. After training under Jeff Stoutland for the past few years with no snaps in the regular season, Mailata came ready to play. He still has some work to do but overall, it was a step in the right direction.

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Keep in mind that even without Nick Bosa, the 49ers’ still have Arik Armstead and Kerry Hyder who can do some damage and have played well thus far. Mailata wasn’t just out there playing third and fourth string players like the preseason. This was the real deal.

The man from Australia ended up playing 100 percent of the offensive snaps, a sentence that some people might not have expected to hear prior to the game. He also kept the pocket clean for Carson Wentz and didn’t allow a sack all night long. There were some snaps where bullied opponents in the run game as well to give Miles Sanders some room to run.

In his press conference, Mailata gave credit to Joe Ostman for preparing him this week which fans love to hear. Philly is getting key experience for some of the youth on this team which is crucial because as these fans know some of the star players for this squad are not getting any younger.

Although it’s just one game, not many people expected Mailata to even be the next man up or get many snaps this year. It’s encouraging to see this type of performance out of him especially with Jason Peters likely in his final season and playing poorly. Peters is on injured reserve for at least two more games so Philly fans will get to see if this was just a fluke or if Mailata can continue to develop. For now, he’s a hero in the city of Philadelphia.