The 2020 season wasn't kind to the Eagles offensive line, as the team was forced to use 14 different line combinations in 16 games. However, one positive they got from all the injuries was an extended look at 2018 seventh-round pick Jordan Mailata.

Mailata, who was selected with the 233rd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, finished the season making 10 starts and appearing in 15 games, including his first ever playing time in a regular season game.

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While Mailata had some growing pains, he showed signs of progress as the season progressed, with his PFF grades improving from Week 11 to Week 17.

Mailata allowed 32 total pressures but was a top-15 tackle by PFF grade from Week 11 onward

That six week stretch of improved play led PFF’s Sam Monson to rank him as the Eagles’ best breakout candidate for 2021.

Monson addressed Simmons’ troublesome debut in his article, using it as evidence of the linebacker’s improvement on the defensive side of the ball during his rookie campaign.

Jordan Mailata was something of a novelty or curiosity when the Eagles acquired him as a former rugby player with incredible physical gifts who had taken up football. He flashed ability in preseason and had to play extensively in 2020 due to injuries along the Eagles offensive line. While there have clearly been some growing pains, he has quietly done a pretty solid job for a guy who is still very much learning the game.

 

One question will be, if Mailata will be the starter in 2021.  The while the imposing left tackle is a intriguing prospect, he will have to battle it out with 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard, who was slated to open the 2020 season at left tackle.

If he can build on the strong finish he put together in 2020, Mailata vs Dillard could be on of the top training camp battles to watch for 2021.

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