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Eagles OT Jordan Mailata Could Have Been a Steeler



Pittsburgh Steelers Jordan Mailata

Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata inked a three-year, $66 million extension on Friday, keeping him in Philadelphia under contract through 2028. But before that all occurred, he almost signed with the Steelers.

Mailata, 27, has blossomed into one of the best offensive tackles in the league after being selected by the Eagles in the seventh round (233rd overall) in 2018. Mailata will now make $22 million per season. Not bad for someone who didn’t even play college football.

Mailata grew up playing rugby in Australia. He never played football until participating in the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. He got the Eagles attention while in the program and the Eagles took a chance on him in the seventh round.

Mailata gave full credit to his run game coordinator and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland for his development.

“It all starts with the coach I have in that room right now and the culture that he set,” Mailata said of Stoutland. “You either sink to the bottom or rise to the top because of Coach Stout.”

So, where do the Steelers come into the picture? The Pathway Program allows teams to carry an extra player on their practice squad, and Mailata revealed that the Steelers wanted to add him during an episode of the New Heights Podcast this past November, via Noah Strackbein of All Steelers.

It makes sense that the Steelers were intrigued by Mailata, as he has a similar built and background to former Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Mailata is massive at 6-foot-8, 366 pounds. He certainly would have thrived under Mike Munchak, who was the offensive line coach at the time and did a tremendous job in molding Villanueva into a Pro Bowl tackle.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert was often injured, so the Steelers needed another tackle. They instead chose to select Chuks Okorafor in the third round. With their seventh-round pick (246 overall) they selected Alabama defensive tackle Josh Frazier. Their pick prior, No. 165 (fifth-round), was running back Jaylen Samuels.