Huge rugby player has impressive workout for NFL scouts

Jordan Mailata on Instagram

A handful of international athletes who would like to see if they have what it takes to make it in the NFL went to Tampa to work out in front of scouts last weekend, and one athlete stood out: Jordan Mailata.

Mailata is a 20-year-old, 6-foot-8, 346-pound Samoan rugby player who currently competes for a team in Sydney, Australia, and he showed that he has the natural athleticism to play at the NFL level. He had a 5.12-second 40-yard dash and a 4.67-second short shuttle, both of which are excellent times for a man his size.

I felt today went well,” Mailata told “This was my first chance to go through the positional drills in front of teams and I hope they got a chance to see the progress I have made as I try to master the position.”

Mailata has been working with the same coach who prepared the German wide receiver Moritz Bohringer for his NFL workouts before the Vikings chose Bohringer in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. Bohringer didn’t pan out and is currently out of the league, and that experience may make NFL teams more likely to sign Mailata as an undrafted free agent than spend a draft pick on him. But Mailata is a name to keep an eye on after the draft, when he may get some calls who think he has the raw talent to make an impact, once he learns the sport.

18 responses to “Huge rugby player has impressive workout for NFL scouts

  1. Tight end? imagine trying to cover him on short stuff over the middle if he can catch. Probably has a leap reaching 12 feet with arms extended.

  2. Whatever position he has played (probably second or back row) he will never have caught passes thrown as hard as he will in American football.

    He can probably block fairly well but I doubt his catching ability will be anywhere near average

  3. Defensive End pass rush specialist.
    Run –tackle the easiest guy to tackle on the field—- and bat down passes. Worht a 6th or 7th round flier if he is not a mouth breather who couldn’t learn those simple things.

  4. Jerrod Hayne acquitted himself well with the 49ers. He could have made a career in the NFL but he went off to train for rugby 7s. In my youth it was really strange to see a foreigner in the NBA and now there’s a huge presence of foreign-born talent. It isn’t weird at all any more. NFL will eventually see more and more, especially as they legislate the most gruesome violence out of the game.
    And I am all for it. I want the sport to grow, want to see the talent pool increase. I like the London games, and I look forward to seeing a game in China some time. Why are some people so weird about that, complain so much about growing the sport? Seems like a manufactured outrage. “30,000 people bought season tickets but only get to see seven of eight home games” oh the humanity. “I have to wake up at 6 am once in 10 years to see a game” my lord how do you endure it!

  5. “Again? Have any of these guys that played rugby or Australian rules football ever had a career in the NFL?”

    Darren Bennett, the Charger’s punter, was NFL all-decade for the 90s. And he started in 1995.

  6. He doesn’t need a designated position. He’d simply be a weapon or a tool in an offensive or defensive sub-package. A goal-line hammer or blocker or even receiver in a “jumbo” package.

    And at 6’8” how do you not have him trying to block kicks?

    I think the right coach should be able to find a way to successfully use an athletic giant. Just bring him to the Bills.

  7. Size guarantees nothing at the top level. Talent & quickness will win every time. This guy is too slow to play tight end. And, a smaller player with football talent will beat him every time. A big defensive tackle will be 325 lbs and up. Shorter but more leveraged. His size won’t be an advantage unless he has some other qualities to go along with it.

  8. buckstalion12965 says:
    March 31, 2018 at 10:43 am
    Does he have 3 years of college? Or does that rule only apply to those born in the 50 statws?
    That doesn’t exist in the states either. You do, however, need to be 3 years removed from high school graduation. Since the guy is 20, he probably fits the bill.

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