Eagles top 25 ranking: Developmental to dominant, Jordan Mailata to No.4

The Eagles, and in particular offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, deserve all the credit in the world for transforming Jordan Mailata from football novice to one of football’s best left tackles in three years.

Truth be told, though, even Stoutland had his fingers crossed in 2020 when the 6-foot-8, 380-pound Australian was forced into the roster due to injury against San Francisco and dominating rusher Nick Bosa.

Things have worked out pretty well since that day when Mailata was able to defend against one of the NFL’s preeminent stars.

There’s the four-year, $64 million contract extension Mailata received before the start of the 2021 campaign, which already looks like a bargain and the recognition of being No. 4 on Eagles Today’s list of 25. Philadelphia’s best players.

The process behind the top 25 list began with Eagles Today site editor Ed Kracz and writer John McMullen collating their top 25 independently of each other and then assigning point values, with 25 points awarded to the player ranked first on each list, 24 to the player ranked second, and so on, with one point for the player ranked 25th.

The higher ranking of either journalist broke any ties in the ballot.

Mailata finished with 45 total votes and was No. 3 on McMullen’s list. Kracz placed Mailata at No. 4.

In the end, Mailata proved better than anyone could have imagined, entering the 2022 season as one of the best offensive linemen in the entire NFL, a far cry from when Stoutland got his first look. on the now fifth-year pro as part of the league. International course program.

Stoutland was preparing to play golf with old friends when General Manager Howie Roseman was on the phone imploring the coach to take a look at what appeared to be a fairy tale, 360 piece of clay. ​pounds with incredible strength and athleticism to match his bizarre frame.

Stoutland had to disappoint his foursome in Staten Island in favor of a plane ticket to Florida to see “this guy from Australia”.

It was a different type of workout because Mailata was so raw but it reminded Stoutland of seeing Lane Johnson for the first time

“Lane Johnson’s training when I came down to [Texas], I was blown away,” Stoutland said. “I was like, ‘wow.’ I said to Mr. Lurie when I came back, I said, ‘I’m telling you it’s a wow, it’s a wow thing, it’s amazing.’ It blew me away.

The look of the features was at least similar to Mailata.

“I was like, this guy is different,” Mailata’s Stoutland said. “I mean a tall, giant guy, who can move his feet, change direction, has enough flexibility.”

The difference has been learning the little things essentially from scratch for Mailata, which can only be viewed in two ways. From Stoutland’s perspective, that was an advantage because he didn’t have to kick bad habits.

Behind the scenes, Mailata had a lot of ups and downs as he became what was ranked the third-best OT in the NFL last season by Pro Football Focus and one good enough to win the massive extension.

“The level has always been high,” Mailata said this spring. “No matter how many years I’ve been a starter or not, I’ve always maintained myself at a high level because of the players we have in the [OL] hall, the standards that the coaches have set for us, the expectations that we must meet as players to play as an Eagle.

“And so for me and I guess the rest of the dressing room, we all play or try to reach that higher level that is established once you set foot in the building.”

This time last year, Mailata was still untrenched and on par with Andre Dillard entering training camp in what was a real competition that turned into a rout robot.

Don’t expect complacency from Mailata, though.

To be honest, the contract provided that sense of stability where I am financially fixed,” Mailata said. “But when I walk into this building, I have this attitude of ‘I don’t have a contract’ and my goal is to get better every day.”

The always gruff and honest Stoutland is a big part of that feeling.

“It doesn’t matter what I placed on PFF last year if I don’t make the right assignments and the right plays. Which I know, because we’re watching it here with Stout, and Stout would never let me forget, even the coins from my rookie year,” Mailata said.

Accountability is what keeps Mailata in the right frame of mind.

“That’s the one thing I like coming into this building, the sense of responsibility,” he said. “No matter how much you get paid, someone is going to hold you accountable, and I feel like I’ve adapted that attitude where I hold myself to that high standard that the coaches have set and I’m capable of being accountable. and watch the movie and be honest with myself.


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-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports chat host Jody every morning from 8-10 a.m. on “Birds 365”, streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show ‘Extending the Play’ on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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