Eagles analysis

A fan favorite kicks off top 10 on Eagles' most important list

Jordan Mailata lands a top 10 spot on the list of most important Eagles in 2023

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Over the next few weeks leading up to training camp, we’ll be counting down the top 25 most important Eagles for the 2023 season.

25. Nolan Smith
24. Quez Watkins
23. Kenny Gainwell
22. Marcus Mariota
21. Reed Blankenship
20. Brandon Graham
19. D'Andre Swift
18. Avonte Maddox
17. Cam Jurgens
16. Fletcher Cox
15. Landon Dickerson
14. Jordan Davis
13. Nakobe Dean
12. Jalen Carter
11. James Bradberry
10. Jordan Mailata

The newlywed Jordan Mailata definitely deserves a top 10 spot on this list.

Mailata, 26, is entering his third season as the Eagles’ full-time starter left tackle. The former rugby player is already one of the better tackles in the NFL. And he might still be getting better.

A shoulder injury seemed to hamper Mailata a bit in 2022 but he still graded out as the ninth-best overall tackle in the NFL, according to ProFootballFocus. Given his relatively young age and his relative inexperience playing football, it’s very possible Mailata’s best days are still to come.

Early in Mailata’s career, it was really easy to point out the areas he needed to improve. It was like watching a baby (a really giant baby) grow up in front of our eyes. It might not be as easy for the rest of us to pinpoint those necessary areas of growth these days but that isn’t an issue for Mailata, not as long as offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is still around.

“Coach Stout loves to remind me every day, in passing as well,” Mailata said this spring. “And even when we’re golfing. Pretty easy to know what you need to clean up. In saying that, the room that I was brought into had a high standard. I was thankful to train with Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Chance Warmack, those guys set the standard. Stefen Wisniewski. It would be a crime if I didn’t mention Stef, or Wiz. 

“Those guys set the standard and it’s pretty easy when you’re chasing greatness and that’s kind of the mindset that I go in with every day, is just chasing greatness. When you get to play alongside with Lane (Johnson) and (Jason) Kelce, you’re forever chasing greatness.” 

Even if Mailata plays at the same level in 2023 as he did in 2022 and 2021, he’s still a massively important part of the Eagles’ offensive line. He still protects Jalen Hurts’ blindside. He still forms a power side of the line with Landon Dickerson (around 700 pounds between the two of them). And he’s still an absolute mauler in the run game.

But there’s still untapped potential in Mailata. He still has a legitimate chance to turn into a Pro Bowler and even and All-Pro player.

The Eagles signed Mailata to a $64 million contract extension before the 2021 season began and he’s under contract through 2025. His $16 million APY ranks 11th in the NFL among left tackles — so he’s already a really good bargain — and there are still three more seasons left to play on the deal. There’s a chance that by the end of that contract, Mailata is massively underpaid.

The good news for Mailata is that the Eagles generally take care of their own, especially along the offensive line. We’ve seen that now for years with Kelce and Johnson. Mailata has the chance to join that elite company if he continues his progression.

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