Australian rugby player has pre-draft visit with Steelers
The Steelers had a unique draft visitor Tuesday, a player from down under who is not a punter.
Jordan Mailata, a national rugby player from Australia, was hosted by the Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. He counts against the alloted 30 visitors that each team can host prior to the NFL Draft on April 26-28.
Mailata, 21, is a 6-foot-8, 346-pound player who has never played a down of American football but is being groomed as an offensive tackle.
The Steelers are one of five teams that Mailata was scheduled to visit with this week, the others being the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Chargers.
Mailata impressed scouts during a private workout in Florida at the end of March. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.12 seconds and had a 4.67 second time in the short shuttle.
The Steelers already have one Australian on the team in punter Jordan Berry. They also have a history of developing raw offensive linemen, as evidenced by Alejandro Villanueva’s progression from undrafted player to Pro Bowl selection.