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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Offensive tackle Jordan Mailata #68 of the Philadelphia Eagles during pregame warm-ups before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

I love Jordan Mailata. I could be considered a “fan boy” of the former Australian Rugby player. Watching this diamond in the rough morph into the franchise left tackle has been so fun to see. I, like many, didn’t think Mailata would amount to much on draft day. After all, he had never played football before. But he was a project and a project worth taking a flyer on in round 7. But I became a believer in his rookie year when former offensive linemen Ross Tucker sent this tweet out

that opened my eyes quite a bit because this isn’t a former quarterback turned analyst, this is a former offensive linemen who knows what hes looking at. And it took a few years, but Mailiata has blossomed into the franchise left tackle. He was rewarded earlier this year with a 4 year contract extension for $64 million dollar deal. Not bad for a guy who started playing in 2017. So yes, I am an admitted fan boy.

But man is this dude fun to watch.

The Saints game was a prime example of how much of a beast this guy has become in 4 short years. He went up against the Saints former first round pick. The 14th pick in the NFL draft, Marcus Davenport. Davenport had success, accumulating 1.5 sacks in the game, but Mailata definitely held his own and, at times was just ragdolling defenders.

Thats no scrub that hes tossing down with one arm. Thats future Hall-of-Famer Cameron Jordan. There was then the skirmish between Mailata and Davenport. It was set up after Davenport pushed Hurts out of bounds after it was clear that Hurts wasnt trying to gain any more yards. In a move that was a modern day “Jason Peters vs. Chris Baker,” Mailata let Davenport know that there would be consequences for his actions

Towards the end of the first half Mailata got his opportunity to let Davenport know that he should pick on someone his own size

An offensive linemen fight is a rarity in football. But it was in response to Davenport’s somewhat reckless play earlier in the game, and it was awesome to see. This is Mailata growing into a leader. The Eagles offensive line imposed their will on the Saints defensive line. Mauling, and manhandling a line that entered the game as the #1 ranked run defense in the league. NOT. NO. MO. Mailata is a big reason for that. And he went full Joel Embiid on twitter after the game, letting Davenport know who was in charge.

Notice the geolocation is “IHOP.” International House of Pancakes. Mailata has blossomed into one of the better left tackles in football and hes only scratched the surface. His joy for playing a sport that hes still learning is obvious. And my joy for watching him own players who have been playing football longer than hes been alive also grows each week. Hes a rare offensive linemen who is fun to watch.