Jordan Mailata's humbleness key to former NRL star's NFL rise - 'I didn't know anything'

Jordan Mailata is blessed with speed and agility packed in a monstrous 203cm tall, 157kg body.

However, there's one thing the Australian says he doesn't possess.

An ego.

The former South Sydney rugby league junior believes that could be in his favour when reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles slash their rosters this weekend.

The Eagles, and the NFL's 31 other teams, must cut their pre-season squads from 90 to 53 by Saturday (Sunday 6am AEST) for Thursday's start of the NFL regular season, and there's plenty of buzz in Philadelphia that Mailata will do the improbable and survive.

"I think it's the ego," the 21-year-old told reporters when asked why he'd been so impressive during the Eagles' pre-season despite his scant American football experience.

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The humble Mailata, from the western Sydney suburb of Bankstown, says he accepts he's "at the bottom of the food chain".

Not only is Mailata a rookie but until four weeks ago he'd never played a game of organised American football.

Other rookies, he believes, enter the NFL with egos after starring on big US college teams.

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"They feel like top dog," Mailata, an offensive tackle who uses his huge frame to protect the quarterback, said.

"They come to here and they are at the bottom of the food chain.

"For me, I knew nothing so I was fine."

The American media have fallen in love with Mailata.

His coaches and Eagles teammates, including Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lane Johnson, are full of praise for Mailata's work ethic and the steep learning curve he's embraced.

"First of all, he's a freak of nature with his size," Johnson said.

"To have a guy that can move with his size, his weight, his ability.

"He's just a baby.

"He's just scratching the surface so it's going to be scary with what he is going to do in the next few years."

Johnson and other Eagles also speak fondly of Mailata's sense of humour.

The Australian is always cracking jokes and has impressed the Eagles with his singing ability.

"Personality is also a big thing," Mailata said.

"I'm really outgoing."

Johnson and the other experienced members of the Eagles' offensive line are often fielding questions from the inquisitive Mailata and, apparently, the lessons continue when they head out on team dinners.

"We went to a Mexican restaurant and he didn't know what an enchilada was," Johnson laughed.

"It's been a journey for him."

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