Jeff Stoutland: Jordan Mailata’s growth “just a tremendous story”

NFL: JAN 29 NFC Championship - 49ers at Eagles
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Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata didn’t go to college before entering the NFL and his introduction on Sunday Night Football is a nod to the unusual route he’s taken to a starting job in Philadelphia.

Mailata introduces himself as being from “Jeff Stoutland University” in reference to the Eagles offensive line coach who has helped him develop since Philly made Mailata a seventh-round pick in 2018. Mailata played rugby in Australia and was invited to train as a football player in Florida, which is where Stoutland saw him working out.

During Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday, Stoutland said that he saw “critical factors” that he looks for in players when he first saw Mailata in action and recalled that the Steelers were the only other team scouting the tackle.

“I was so happy that there was no one else there. I knew right then and there that this guy had all the things we were looking for,” Stoutland said.

The Eagles weren’t so blown away that they were willing to take Mailata before the seventh round, but General Manager Howie Roseman made sure that he wouldn’t go to Pittsburgh by sending a future seventh-rounder to the Eagles in order to move up 17 spots at the end of the draft. That secured Mailata and started the process of developing him into an NFL player.

Mailata did not make his regular season debut until 2020, but has started 43 regular season and playoff games over the last three seasons after putting in the time to prepare himself for the professional ranks.

“This was something that we just worked really hard at and grinded away at,” Stoutland said. “It’s a credit to him because it wasn’t easy for him, believe me. This was learning something completely new, foreign to him and just a tremendous story really.”

A Super Bowl ring would make the story of Mailata’s journey from rugby player to NFL starter an even more tremendous one.

10 responses to “Jeff Stoutland: Jordan Mailata’s growth “just a tremendous story”

  1. If ever there was a success story of a team taking a flyer on a late-round draft pick as a project, this is it. Mailata has been VERY good since becoming a full-time starter. He’s done so well that they signed him to a 4-year, $64M extension. All the kudos in the world to Stoutland and the rest of the Eagles staff, not to mention credit to Mailata for all of the hard work it must’ve taken to get himself to this point.

  2. Another testament to Howie’s Roseman’s effectiveness. The Steelers have a top notch scouting department, in my view, and Roseman recognizing their interest and making an aggressive move – even in the 7th round – to get their guy is one of the big reasons the Eagles are where they are.

  3. I know Howie usually wins at trades, but trading your own pick to yourself to move up in the draft is some next level stuff!!!

  4. Both Stoutland and Mailata deserve all the kudos on this. Hard work, smart work, and effort. He has outperformed blue chip prospects, 1st round picks and other athletes ‘bred’ to do this position work. Jason peters helped him while he was there, filling in as his understudy. Credit to the Eagles for scouting him and investing the time necessary to turn him into a great left tackle. He has done so well, he is a pro-bowl level tackle, oppositie Lane Johnson, arguably the best NFL tackle, right or left, in the business. Meanwhile, Kelce has cemented a Hall of Fame career, with Johnson, and Isacc Seamolo has urned into a pro bowl level guard along with Dickerson. If the Eagles win Sunday- it is likely the MVP should go to the Philly defensive and offensive lines. (They practice against each other all year- is it a wonder that they are all so good?). Frankly, if the Chiefs can outperform these 2 lines? They are deserving champs as well. Should be a great display of tactics, athletic skills and football acumen on those lines (KC and Philly) on Sunday.

  5. Stoutland is an amazing coach, but the bond he has with his guys is his true gift. Both he and his wife are like parents to these guys, read how Lane Johnson loves both Mr and Mrs. Stoutland. family is overused for sports teams, but appropriate for this Eagles team.

  6. I remember the Eagles drafting him and no one knew who he was. Then a rumor went around about a YouTube video of him playing rugby. Everyone that watched that video went oh my, this guy is a physical freak of nature. It s just not normal for a 365lb man with so little body fat to be able to run like that.

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