Eagles swoop for Australian rugby player Mailata in NFL draft

The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles made Australian Jordan Mailata the 233rd overall pick in the NFL draft on Saturday, hoping the towering 20-year-old can successfully transition from rugby to American football.

"It's been an absolute brainstorm of an experience," Mailata told NFL Draft Live after being selected in the seventh round of the annual intake of new talent.

Mailata, who previously suited up for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League, had admitted earlier to NFL.com that he wasn't expected to be drafted.

But his imposing physical attributes likely convinced the Eagles to take a chance that Mailata, listed as an offensive tackle, could earn a place on their roster.

He's six feet, eight inches tall (2.03 meters) and 346 pounds (157 kilograms) -- and wowed scouts at his pro day demonstration by running the 40-yard dash in 5.12 seconds.

In recent months, Mailata has been training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, trying to fast-track his pursuit of his NFL dream.