Jordan Mailata’s Journey From Australian Rugby League to Eagles Draft Pick | NFL Undiscovered

Jordan Mailata’s Journey From Australian Rugby League to Eagles Draft Pick | NFL Undiscovered

Throughout the world,
sport often defines a region.In some cases,
it defines an entire continent.In the US, more than 100,000 kids
play football every year.Around 9,000 of those athletes
will play in college.And less than 2%
have a chanceof being drafted
in the National Football League.To many who play the sport,
the dream seems impossible.But for Jordan Mailata,a rugby player who has
never played American football,a chance may be all he needs.Now how about
a little bit of a mystery?Jordan is a 21-year-old
of Samoan origin.who has played professional rugby.The opportunity
that’s been presented before me,it’s not to be taken lightly.In January,
he was discovered by agentsand he moved to America
to begin his dreamto go from rugby to football.I love his story.
6’8″, 345 pounds,Samoan, from Australia.I’m here to compete
and I want the best for my life.If they draft a kid from Australia
who has never played football,and he becomes a real player,
that’s the new standard.If I could make it, it would change
my life and my family’s life.Like, forever.The NFL has set its sights
on expanding across the globe.As part of that initiative,
the League developed a programto help identify
talented foreign athleteswhose skill and athleticism
could transfer to American football.Jordan Mailata was an easy target.The position I see me playing
is offensive lineman, left tackle.There aren’t that many guys
that can move like me at my size.So, I’m really eager
to just be a spongeand absorb
all the information around me.Over the course of three months,Jordan and several other
international prospectswill spend their time learning
the game of footballfrom the ground up.Twelve hours a day,seven days a week,in the hopes of making an NFL roster.Better get it!With the average NFL player
having at least10 years of football experience
before becoming a professional,the biggest obstacle
to overcome will be mental.Perfection is a myth. What gives you energy? What gives you motivation? Why are you going to the weight room?
Why are you going to the track? That energy ought to be with you
on a constant basis. That motivation should be with you
every single day. It’s a daily choice. What type of man you gonna be? What type of player are you gonna be? It’s a choice.My knowledge on the NFL
is very limited.I’ve only watched a few games
and highlights. What position would you
see yourself possibly playing? I’m open to anything. But, I guess, ’cause I’ve been
watching left tackle a lot, I kind of want to learn it. One of the coaches asked me
do I know anyone, do I watch anyone in particular? And I said, “Only Michael Oher
because ofThe Blind Side.”We’re gonna teach you how to get down
in a stance and a start. Verbiage. I’ve never heard
that word verbiage before.It’s like going into it blindfolded.It’s the first time
I’m putting on a helmet. You don’t know what you’re seeing,
what you’re hearing. How’s that feel right there? Honestly, I don’t know
how it’s supposed to feel. -Well, there’s…
-Feels nice, but… Everything’s new. It’s a big mystery. -All right.
-Okay. You’re all set and ready to go. In this process, it’s about
giving him a fundamental base.But ultimately,
it’s how he learns to learn.Pay attention to the guy.
‘Cause if you’re caught…What I’ve realized is this.
It’s a pattern.It’s reading the plays, being
light on your feet, and being tough.I’m not gonna take this lightly
because I’m here to compete,and I want the best for my life. Come on, Jordan! Finish!One thing that I’m really good at
is being able to adapt.You got it.I feel like I’ve played
a high level of rugby league.And now I feel like I want to
challenge myself to learn a new sport.Not to be naive, but just,really take onboard one of
the greatest games in the world.And prove everyone wrong
and challenge peoplethat someone who hasn’t played
the sport before can do it. I feel like I’m carrying five kilos.Most draft eligible NFL prospectshave years of college film
for coaches to evaluate.Jordan has nothing.But defying the odds is nothing new
for the Australian.When he was 17 years old, he was
diagnosed with a rare heart conditionthat nearly ended his athletic career.I got picked up in a rep squad for our
local team, the Canterbury Bulldogs.And during that pre-season,
I collapsed at training.And I had no idea why that happened.I thought it was just
because of my big sizethat I was just unfit.And, I needed to work on my fitness.It wasn’t until I collapsed
a second timethat the trainer sent me
to the doctor.I got checked out. He told me, “You’ve
gotta go to emergency straight away “because you have something wrong
with your heart.”Over the course of a year,
he underwent two surgeriesin the upper and lower chambers
of his heart,forcing him
to sit out of all activity.And that’s when I realized that I knew
what I needed to do for my bodyto perform to the best of my ability.I used that to get
into the National Rugby League teamin one of the teams down in Sydney,
the South Sydney Rabbitohs.And fortunately enough,
they gave me a run.And I tore it up,
not gonna lie, for them.In almost 100 years
of the National Football League,No foreign player
with zero American football experiencehas ever been drafted.Now, Jordan’s NFL audition
will take the form of a single tryout.Ironically, the same heart
that nearly killed his dreamcould now be the factor that saves it.Saturday’s combine features scouts
from across the Leaguewho’ll be documenting
a series of teststhat gauge athleticism, technique
and attention to detail.Each participant is timed, recorded,and compared to prospects
around the country.For Jordan and his comrades,
the margin for error is razor thin.I wanna be the guy that everyone
remembers for the right reasons.Works hard, last man in the room.And also just
doing it for me, I guess.Everyone can see that.
I want thisand this is something
that I see myself doing.You’re looking for a competitorbecause if you’re a competitor,
you find a way to get it done.Really, it’s a chance for them
to showcase themselves. Twenty one! You can’t change what’s gonna happen. You can just go out there
and be who you are.There aren’t that many guys
that can move like me.I’m a real tough competitor.Even though this is all foreign to me,I will catch up.I didn’t come to take part, man,
I came to take over.Obviously there are many
talented players in the United States,but I felt we can kind of expand that.The skill set, the athleticism,
all that stuff will come over time,but I’m looking for a guy that will
compete and wanna get better. Go!Jordan’s performance at the Pro Dayputs him among the top
offensive linemen in the country.I wasn’t nervous.
I was more just excitedjust to get through the drills
and get it done. And, yeah, I think we did well today. So I’m glad that it’s over now,
and that we’ve done it.The grueling
three-month schedule paid off.Now all he can do is wait.Jordan, you have
an interest evidently?Yeah, I’m quite surprised
at how much interestI’ve sparked up
in the last couple of months.The Redskins were the first team
that I visited. That was today.Now I’m going to Pittsburgh
to visit the Steelers.I also have a visit
with Philadelphia Eagles,Cleveland Browns, LA Chargers,
and Atlanta Falcons.This isn’t some curiosity case
or NFL PR thing.Looks like we’ve got this fun story
from Down Under, like, this is real.Teams are using
30-player visits on him.So every team gets
to meet with 30 players.They are using
some of those on this guybecause they wanna see
more out of him.Meaning they have full intention
of drafting him next week.The NFL Draft is an annual eventwhich allows all 32 teams
to restock their rosterswith the best
young players in America.After spending months scouting
the top names in college football,the teams compete against each other
for the perfect haul of new talent.General managers, coaches,
and owners race the clockto make their picks over seven rounds.The Cleveland Browns
select Baker Mayfield.Quarterback, Oklahoma.It is Baker Mayfield.If Jordan gets selected
by an NFL team,the earliest it is likely to happen
is on the Draft’s final daybetween the fourth and seventh rounds.A lot of things going through my head.I really can’t put them into words.I didn’t get much sleep last night,
so, yeah, I’m feeling very tired…I’m very excited as well, so, yeah, a lot of things
are happening, but excited and nervous
at the same time.This journey that I’ve been on with
the five other guys in the program,you know, every day was a grind,and, yeah, it has not been
a walk in the park.I think we all took a risk
coming here, so…I think it’s paying off and, you know,
they say hard work pays off.So, hopefully… You know, I know that
it’s just the tip of the iceberg.With the selections
beginning in the morningand going late into the afternoon,the wait for a career-changing
phone call can be excruciating.And it’s not just time
that hangs in the balance.It’s the course of his life.Green Bay. Green Bay. Oh, my God. False alarm. Hopped up too early. Can’t do much. Can’t do much. Just gotta keep waiting again. Hey, you got no credit, right? It’s been a long pause. Just nervous and anxious waiting…
Just waiting for that call. Waiting for the phone to blow up. Now I see what these few are up to.Here to bag the next pick
for the Green Bay Packers,please welcome Marine Corps veteran…Hello, Jordan speaking. -Jordan.
-Howie, how’s it going?I’m doing great, man. We just traded
up to get you in the seventh round.We’re picking you right now.
You’re an Eagle, bro.Congratulations, buddy.Thanks, Coach. Thanks, mate. Appreciate it, Coach.Hey, look, you got all the support
in the world here in Philadelphiato make you be
whatever you wanna be, okay? Yeah. Come here, man. Yes, Jordan! Yes, Jordan! Yes, Jordan! I’m proud of you, man.With the 233rd pick
in the 2018 NFL Draft,the Philadelphia Eagles selectJordan Mailata,
tackle, Sydney, Australia.Eagles, baby! Yes, Jordan! Got Jordan’s phone
as he calls his parents. I got the last pick. I can’t stop crying now. No, my hat… Cameras are filming me crying. It’s annoying. I’ll give you a call
I’m about to go onstage.Okay, baby.Give me your shirt. I need to…You’re about to see
absolutely no footageof him playing American footballbecause he’s a rugby player.He is 6’8″.Three hundred and almost fifty pounds.And his workout was nice.I really can’t explain
what I’m feeling right now.You know, it’s been a long journey
and it’s only beginning.This is the scary part, so…I think I’m just feeling
every single emotionthat I’ve been wanting to feel
for the last three, four months.But, yeah, it’s…
I’m completely blessed that I’ve been chosen
to be an Eagle, so…Can’t wait to begin my journey
at Philadelphiaand start earning my keep.Everyone wants that dream
of playing the Super Bowl.But I think, for me,
the dream right nowis to get on the field
and play my first game.And from there, set goals.They say potential is only talent
that hasn’t been fully realized.Only time will tell
how Jordan Mailata’s story will end.But one thing is certain…His journey will forever be remembered
as a monumental stepin pioneering
a new, international NFL.

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. Hey i just came from the year 2030. Just wanted to say that Jordan Mailata is the best player of all time and ends up becoming a massive action hero movie guy. Don't argue with the future. You heard it first right here

  2. I cried with him… well done champion. Go hard, work hard, play hard and you'll succeed… At the Eagles you'll learn from some of the best. Best of luck to him 😊

  3. He looked great at left tackle in pre-season! Gonna enjoy watching him guarding our QB for a long time. Hope he's as good opening lanes for our running backs and tight ends.

  4. Can't lie, I teared up a bit at him finding out he's an Eagle.
    He's such a genuinely nice person and im SO happy he's an eagle.
    Time to fly mr Mailata. Buying you're Jersey now

  5. He will be a success! How can ge not? the man has more to gain then to lose. Support from SOUTH AUCKLAND AOTEAROA POLYNESIA!!!

  6. On the eve of the Eagles home opener to defend the title, Jordan will be a star in this city and this league for a decade. Write it down.

  7. ok i'm italian and ive started to watch american football this year, picked eagles as team to support (not because of the superbowl win, of wich i was completely unaware of, but because of the jersey color…yeah i know how dumb is that but hey oh), stumbled upon this video while trying to figure out how draft works and now i cant stop crying! hope Jordan will have a great career in the nfl

  8. Awesome, inspirational story… congratulations for his incredible accomplishment. I’m still not watching professional sports… Especially the NFL. When they learn to respect our flag, what it stands for and the people who have died defending it I will reconsider. Until then, piss on those overpaid, inconsiderate morons.

    When I went through my divorce 6 years ago I had a period of reflection, a time to look at what mattered and what didn’t. The three things that took my “eye off the ball” (God I hate using a sports metaphor when bashing professional sports…lol) were 1, the news 2, the financial markets and 3, professional sports. As Robert Robert De Niro said in A Bronx Tale “Well, see if your father can’t pay the rent go ask Mickey Mantle and see what he tells you. Mickey Mantle doesn’t care about you, so why should you care about him?” I was sending Ted Leonsis $10,000 a year to rent 2 seats, 3 hours at a time, 41 times a year. At the end of 7 seasons Ted had $70,000 of my money and I had 287 worthless ticket stubs. Yes, I did sit next to Alex Ovechkin’s mother and watched his first 7 years in the NHL as he made some incredible highlight films… BUT, the disappointment when they would get knocked out of the playoffs in the third round was devastating, so much so my family life and work suffered for a couple of weeks. Then I realized, why was I getting upset over a GAME? Then it occurred to me what would happen in a “best case scenario”, they win Lord Stanley’s Cup… NOTHING. Ted Leonsis would make a fortune and then raise the ticket prices for the next season…AGAIN. The players would make a small fortune, have bragging rights for the rest of their lives because of having their name engraved on the cup… but the fans? When Washington won the championship this spring, I don’t know a single person who received a check in the mail from it. Sports are designed to do 2 things… keep the public’s eye “off the ball” so the government can be corrupt and nobody notices and to make the team owners wealthy. That’s it…

  9. I think the ''international NFL'' concept will grow faster if scouts get on the ground here in Australia.Also New Zealand & Fiji .There are not Jordan Mailatas on every corner but there are very talented athletes that have transferable skills & a good attitude.

  10. Honestly he should be a dual threat on both sides dont just keep him on left tackle eagles c'mon… be smart he can run he can tackle let him make plays let him carry you'll see the true potential of mailata.

  11. why OL position for him? give him a chance. let him play TE or something with his size and speed, but putting him in OL position? I hope he is happy with his position right now but if he wants other positions that he can play. at least give him a chance. cheers Jordan and his buddy Christan.

  12. Now picture all the offensive linemen that didn't make a team this year that have been playing this sport and position for at least 4 years or so !!!!! That's like someone kicking you in the nuts then taking a dump in your mouth !!!!! And asking …….How does that taste ??

  13. Since Jordan Mailata is not playing offensive lineman, why can he be a half back? Also, if Jordan become successful, there will be a copycat. Since the Eagles won the Superbowl, everybody was copying the Eagles what they did in order to win the Superbowl. NFL is a copycat league

  14. Shot uce! Just shows that you don't even need to be from American Samoa. Either way we still make it to the big leagues. Go hard uso 💪

  15. He played Junior Rugby League football in Australia, not NRL or Super League, but he's a fine athlete and could become a star of the NFL.

  16. as if rugby wouldn't change your life and your family's life forever….making americans think their are the best in sport

  17. The whole population of all Polynesian's combined WORLDWIDE is roughly 2 million+ that's hardly anything compared to every other race in the world but as the years go by Polynesians are definitely getting bigger and bigger every year. Wont be long till there are some 7ft plus Poly giants around.

  18. I'm rootin' for this guy – though I think he's a little too lanky to be an OT. He has the weight – it's just not distributed in a functional way for an OT. Offensive linemen are massive and immovable while being literal earth movers themselves.
    While I don't question Mailata's strength, I think it could be better utilized with the ball in his hands. If he can catch, why not give him a shot at TE?

  19. 'Comes from Australia who never played a game of Football' 😂😂 League uses the foot more then NFL, should have said never played gridiron

  20. I’m pretty sure he never actually played an NRL game, only 20’s. So he’s the equivalent of a college player not playing NFL and moving to another sport. Due to his size I don’t think he’d make it in the NRL, he’d dominate 10-15 minutes in the middle then gas up, and that’s just not enough minutes for an NRL middle. Good luck to him though he seems like a humble, hardworking dude.

  21. I love American football, but it kind of annoys me the attitude of "let's just take rugby players and draft them into the NFL". If you don't get why, imagine if cricket teams started recruiting promising players from Baseball. Or if it was the other way around, Rugby teams were richer than NFL teams and just randomly made offers to NFL players to join Rugby teams if they were good enough.

  22. Isa….. Blessings from FIJI… You have made us all Pacific Islanders proud, especially SAMOA…

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you for creating that opportunity for Pacific Islanders.

  23. Can't believe I am crying with him when he finds out about the news. I found him on YouTube when I was watching rugby. I searched him name and end up here lol. I'm from Australia will be moving to America soon and hopefully I get to go watch his games.

  24. Offencive tackle…shieeet, what a waste! I'd put him on defencive line duty, or a tightend or something…if on the offence!

  25. Much easy for a rugby league player to play NFL but it would be much harder for a NFL player trying to play rugby league though

  26. The aussies appreciate the nfl getting the title right but the commentators should understand nothing fires up league fans like calling it rugby.

  27. Hi there Commentator. Yet again these video not accurate. He is from Rugby League and not Rugby Union which is known as Rugby. They are very different games, with very different rules, teams and fans. Thanks.

  28. Well at least he has experience in a sport with the same kind of ball…i want to see if its possible for a icehockey, football(soccer) or floorball player to become an nfl player

  29. Just came to see who else almost had a tear when he got the call 😢 wow as a kiwi that don't follow the game of grid iron I now have a fave player and i ain't even seen him touch the ball lol

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