After 12 years of constant striving, our veteran Eagles commentator T-BONE (aka “Boner” of Idaho) finally gets fitted for a Green Jacket as his ballot prevailed in a last-second duel with his good buddy DUTCH RUBB in the MACH 10 Challenge. In this year’s somewhat unusual circumstances of picking out of the #32 hole, with some wild tradebacks thrown in, it was no surprise that only two of the total MACH 10 ballots had at least one correct prediction going into Round 7. In T-BONE’s case, putting him over the edge was a very late-round hit on the Australian Rules project player Jordan Mailata, a selection which ultimately descended from the good will and graces of none other than Bill Belichick, who switched places with the Eagles at #233 and #250 overall as a sign of…good will? Good Bill? Oh wait, Bill got a 7th rounder in 2019 from Philly to sweeten the deal.
Meanwhile, DUTCH RUBB had already locked in the 2nd Round pick of tight end Dallas Goedert. T-BONE hit on DE Josh Sweat in Round 4. But DUTCH could not add to his early lead. It looked like it might come down to the tie-breaker—the dreaded Time-Stamp. Whoever got their ballot in before the other would be the winner.
You can live by the Time-Stamp, and you can die by the Time-Stamp. T-BONE had already lost a MACH 10 crown back in 2013 to DON PARDO based on a Time-Stamp. This time the clock was in T-BONE’s favor, but he didn’t need Father Time, as the very late Jordan Mailata pick put him over the top..
It’s just another example of why the MACH 10 is so hard to win, and so complex in its simplicity. There is also no consolation in the fact that so many of the players on so many ballots this year eventually ended up among the Eagles’ recent UDFA signings.
So let us now join T-BONE as he accepts his Green Jacket at Butler Cabin and joins this elite roster:
2007…M. Fanny Harris
2009…M. Fanny Harris
2011…The Great JB99
Meanwhile, many of us sat through the entire Day 3 draft process. As The Great JB99 commented, it was a long day which seemed to “take forever”. I wonder if there could be a better format to speed things along in the future?
Anyway, this is what the Eagles hauled in Rounds 4 through 7. Tim McManus of ESPN.com supplies the write-ups:
Round 4, No. 125 overall: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh
“My take: Avonte Maddox does not have ideal size (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) but ran a sub 4.4-second 40 yard dash at the combine and led Pitt with 11 pass breakups and two interceptions last season despite missing two games due to injury. He’s a quick-twitch athlete with the skillset to blanket receivers. The Eagles were interested in adding a nickel corner this weekend and appear to have done it.
How he fits: Patrick Robinson was one of the top slot corners in the NFL last year, but departed in free agency to the New Orleans Saints. One of the Eagles’ priorities this offseason is to identify his replacement. Coach Doug Pederson mentioned Jalen Mills as a possibility. Maddox could very well be part of that competition depending on how quickly he acclimates this spring and summer.”
Round 4, No. 130 overall: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
“My take: Sweat was a combine standout but didn’t necessarily have the production to match at FSU, totaling 14.5 sacks over three seasons. His tape against Alabama stood out, as Sweat posted five tackles and a sack. He’s got plenty of upside but may need time to develop. There were medical concerns surrounding his knee, but the Eagles’ doctors cleared him. He tore his ACL and dislocated his knee in 2014.
How he fits: The defensive end rotation is stacked at the moment with Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett and Chris Long leading the way. Sweat might be able to make his mark on special teams to start while earning defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s trust.”
Round 6, No. 206 overall: Matt Pryor, OL, TCU
“My take: Pryor did not receive a combine invitation, but at 6-foot-7, 358 pounds, the Eagles get a big offensive line prospect with some upside. He played both right guard and right tackle at TCU. The Eagles’ core philosophy is to build the roster from the inside-out, so it’s no surprise they invested in the O-line here.
How he fits: The Eagles are in good shape along the offensive front at the moment. Pryor will compete for a spot on the depth chart this summer with the hope of developing into a starter down the road.”
Round 7, No. 233 overall: Jordan Mailata, OT, Australia
“My take: The Eagles made a deal with the Patriots to move up and select Mailata, a 6-foot-8, 346-pound former rugby player from Sydney, Australia. Watch some of his rugby tape, and you’ll see a big, fast, athletic dynamo trucking his competition. How his transition to the gridiron will go is yet to be determined, but the tools are obvious.
How he fits: Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland will have fun with this one. Mailata is going to be raw, clearly, so there won’t be any expectations of him contributing early, and the Eagles don’t need him to because of the talent they have along the offensive front. They’re taking a shot on an athlete with some pretty amazing upside, and doing so with minimal risk in the seventh round.”
They keep calling Mailata a “rugby player”, but technically I believe he is an Australian Rules football player who plays in the Rugby League division.
I’ve seen his highlight tapes. My only concern is his competition seems to be made up of somewhat smallish boys. Wonder how it will go when he runs up against a bunch of thugs his own size?
Well, it’s great for public relations with the ever-expanding talent pool coming out of Australia through the IMG training agency, that’s for sure.
Now here is the first wave of UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS in the wake of the draft:
Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State
Danny Ezechukwu, LB, Purdue
Joe Ostman, EDGE, CMU
Ian Park, OG, Slippery Rock
Jeremy Reaves, S, South Alabama
Stephen Roberts, S, Auburn
Chandon Sullivan, CB, GSU
Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma
Toby Weathersby, OT, LSU
More names may soon be added to the UDFA list. It’s got to hurt a little to see some of those names on your crumpled-up MACH 10 ballot, I reckon. I’ve certainly got a few on mine.