NFL’s Most Overrated/Underrated Players: Jordan Mailata
When the Eagles extended former Rugby Star turned offensive lineman Jordan Mailata to a four-year, $64 million contract, many people criticized the move and felt that it was a lot of money for someone who had yet to prove themselves in the league.
And I’ll admit, as an Eagles fan myself, I was a little skeptical of the signing. I mean sure, he had shown flashes of being great but nothing over a long stretch of time that warranted an extension like this. But clearly, the Eagles front office saw something in him that others didn’t, and up until this point he has proven that’s he worth every penny of that contract and then some.
It was initially unclear what Mailata’s role would be as a seventh-round draft pick with no prior football experience. With a very talented and deep Eagles offensive line that included the likes of Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard, it seemed like he would never really get his shot. But a slew of injuries in that department during the 2020 season forced Doug Pederson to give Mailata a start. And while he was clearly a little rough around the edges, he improved each and every week and would eventually beat out the former first round pick in Dillard for the left tackle spot after Peters retired.
From that moment until now, Mailata has shown that he is one of the best left tackles in all of football. Yet whenever people talk about the best offensive linemen in the league his name is seldom mentioned. Last year, he was ranked fifth among tackles for overall win rate. He was also graded as PFF’s three-best tackle in the league in 2021. That’s quite the grade for a tackle who’s currently being paid $16 million a year, well below the market value for a tackle of his quality.
But the stats alone don’t do him the justice. If you turn on the film, you can see countless clips of Mailata manhandling opposing linemen. You’ll also see the way he’s able to move as a 6-foot-8, 385-pound specimen when pulling on run blocks. He’s really just a freak of nature and I’m very glad the Eagles have him locked up for the foreseeable future.
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