The Eagles used a late draft pick on a gigantic Australian rugby player who's never played US football

  • Jordan Mailata, the 20-year-old Australian rugby player drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 7th round of the NFL draft, is 6-foot-8 and weighs 346 pounds.
  • He was first discovered by NFL scouts after his rugby agent put together a highlight reel.
  • Mailata has never plated American football before, but the Eagles are taking a chance on him.

The Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles just got even scarier.

The reigning champions selected Jordan Mailata — a 6-foot-8, 346-pound rugby player — in the 7th round of the NFL draft on Saturday. The 20-year-old Mailata most recently played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), and has no American football experience to his name.

Hailing from Sydney, Mailata first drew the attention of NFL scouts after his agent compiled a highlight reel intended to attract attention from other rugby clubs. He was also able to pass the compilation along to a contact at the NFL's International Pathway Program, which eventually resulted in Mailata being invited to train at the highly reputed IMG Academy in Florida.

Mailata has been working out there for several months, training for 4 1/2 hours a day and spending another 3 1/2 hours studying film in order to learn the many nuances of American football, according to an ESPN report.

Related: Each player taken during round one of the draft: 

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Every pick in the first round of the NFL Draft
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Every pick in the first round of the NFL Draft
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Baker Mayfield chosen as the Number 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Saquon Barkley of Penn State poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the New York Giants during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sam Darnold poses for photos with a jersey as the third overall pick by the New York Jets during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Cleveland Browns pick Ohio St Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Bradley Chubb poses for photos as the fifth overall pick by the Denver Broncos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Quenton Nelson chosen as the sixth overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Allen chosen as the seventh overall pick by the Buffalo Bills poses for photos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Roquan Smith is chosen as the eighth overall pick by the Chicago Bears poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Mike McGlinchey on the video board after being chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the ninth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Rosen poses with a jersey after being chosen by the Arizona Cardinals with the tenth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Minkah Fitzpatrick poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the eleventh overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Vita Vea poses for photos after being chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 12th overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Da'Ron Payne on the video board after being chosen by the Washington Redskins with the thirteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport takes a photo with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage after being chosen by the New Orleans Saints with the fourteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Kolton Miller holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Oakland Raiders with the fifteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Tremaine Edmunds holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Los Angeles Chargers select Florida State Defensive Back Derwin James seventeenth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Jaire Alexander holds up a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the 18th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State poses after being picked #19 overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Frank Ragnow on the video board after being chosen by the Detroit Lions with the 20th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Billy Price on the video board after being chosen by the Cincinnati Bedngals with the 21st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Rashaan Evans holds a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Tennessee Titans with the 22nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Isaiah Wynn on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 23rd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: D.J. Moore on the video board after being chosen by the Carolina Panthers with the 24th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Hayden Hurst on the video board after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 25th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Calvin Ridley of Alabama after he was picked #26 overall by the Atlanta Falcons during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Rashaad Penny of San Diego State after he was picked #27 overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Terrell Edmunds of Virginia Tech (R) poses with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (C) after being picked #28 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Taven Bryan holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 28th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Mike Hughes of UCF after he was picked #30 overall by the Minnesota Vikings during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sony Michel on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 31st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Lamar Jackson holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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He turned in an impressive performance at a workout for NFL scouts, running a 5.12-second 40-yard dash. In the end, Mailata visited seven teams: the Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Washington Redskins.

Mailata follows in the footsteps of Jarryd Hayne, who also traded in a professional rugby career in Australia for a shot at the NFL. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2015, and ended up appearing in eight regular season games. His career statistics include 52 rushing and 27 receiving yards — and three fumbles.

Meanwhile, in the NRL last season, Mailata made 12 appearances off the bench, scoring eight tries while averaging 21 minutes per game.

Enjoy this YouTube compilation of Mailata steamrolling various rugby foes:

 

 

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SEE ALSO: Every pick from the 1st round of the NFL Draft and how they compared to expert predictions

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