After an impressive workout in front of scouts in Florida at the end of March, rugby player Jordan Mailata is now visiting with a handful of NFL teams as the draft approaches.
The 21-year old Australian National Rugby League player has five visits set up this week, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com. After visiting the Washington Redskins on Monday, Mailata will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Chargers through the rest of the week.
The 6-foot-8, 346-pound Mailata is viewed as a possible offensive tackle by scouts though he’s never played a down of American football.
“I’m quite surprised at how much interest I’ve sparked up in the last couple of months. Being from out of the sport and not really knowing much about it I’m pretty privileged and honored to receive invites to the clubs so cheerios to them,” Mailata said in an interview with the NFL Network.
For an athlete of Mailata’s size, his agility numbers left a strong impression with scouts during workouts recently. He ran a 5.12-second 40-yard dash and had a 4.67-second short shuttle time. He’s been training as an offensive lineman since deciding to make the transition.
The NRL is the same league former San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne played in before coming to the NFL. Mailata is now trying to make the same jump, though in a substantially different discipline.
“I think it’s more just to challenge myself,” he said. “Being only 21 now, I’m still young and want to make a name for myself and see what I can do so, yeah, why not challenge myself and see what happens.”