Jordan Mailata

How Aussie rugby league ‘wrecking ball’ Jordan Mailata went from operating table to $86m NFL dream

He likened it to being blindfolded, chasing a dream career in a sport that may as well have been a foreign language.

It is what makes Mailata’s rapid rise – a self-described “Hollywood movie” – all the more remarkable.

Earlier this month he was sharing the field with Tom Brady, who at 44 years old, is still breaking records and still redefining the quarterback age curve.

Mailata is doing some redefining of his own, shedding the rugby league identity of his past and forging a new one.

Mailata makes the cut for Super Bowl champs

The Australian-Samoan athlete, who stands 203cm tall and weighs 157kg, only played his first organised American football game a month ago.

All 32 NFL teams were forced to cut their rosters from 90 players to 53 at the weekend, with the 21 year old Mailata surviving the final cull.

The former South Sydney Rabbitohs Under 20s rugby league player was selected as the 233rd overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.