Eagles’ Most Improved Player Revealed: ‘One of NFL’s Elite’

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ offense took a significant step back in 2023, particularly during a disappointing second-half of the season, but the offensive line remained among the league’s best.

Pro Football Focus not only named the Eagles’ offensive line the best in the NFL, again, but identified one of its stalwarts Philadelphia’s most improved player for the season.

Zoltan Bundy of PFF named Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata the team’s most improved player in 2023.

“Philadelphia’s left tackle developed into one of the NFL’s elite players at the position in 2023,” Bundy writes. “As he earned an 83.2 pass-blocking grade and 83.0 run-blocking grade during the regular season.”

According to PFF, Mailata’s improvement was certainly marked from 2022 to 2023 season, from garnering a 76.5 overall grade in 2022 to 84.1 in 2023 while finishing as the outlet’s No. 3 ranked offensive tackle.

Mailata’s improvement stood out to All-Pro teammate Jason Kelce.

“He’s in the prime of his career right now,” Kelce said, via NBCSports Philadelphia. “Physically, he’s only getting better, and his technique is continuing to get better. I mean, he only started playing football six years ago. It’s remarkable, really, the career arc that he’s had, and I think he’s playing the best right now that he’s ever played in his career. The things he’s doing physically are just beyond impressive at this point.

“He’s hard on himself, but there have been more ‘Oh my gosh’ moments from him the first half of this year than I’ve seen since he’s been here.”

Allowing just three sacks and 45 total pressures in 677 pass-protection snaps, it’s easy to see what makes Mailata one of the top players at his position in the entire league.

Eagles’ Offensive Line Remains Gold Standard

Jordan Mailata is just one piece of the Eagles’ dominance up front.

While Philadelphia’s offense never quite found its footing in 2023, which was a driving force behind the Eagles firing offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, position coach Jeff Stoutland’s offensive line was a bright spot.

“While the Eagles’ offensive line, mainly due to injuries, could not keep up its 2022 form for all 18 weeks of the 2023 regular season,” Zoltán Buday writes for Pro Football Focus, naming the Eagles’ offensive line tops in the NFL. “The unit at full strength and playing to its potential was still the best in the NFL.”

Buday credits Mailata, All-Pro center Jason Kelce, and All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson was pillars of the Eagles’ success in the trenches.

“Mailata (85.9), Kelce (84.8) and Johnson (82.9) were each among the five highest-graded players at their positions this season,” he writes.

Given swirling speculation surrounding Kelce’s potential looming retirement and Johnson’s ability to consistently stay healthy, the Eagles’ offensive line could look much different in 2024. But, Mailata’s ascension and Stoutland’s presence could be enough to keep Philadelphia in the mix to return to the top of PFF’s rankings, again, next season.

Jordan Mailata Reveals Most Nervous Moment

In addition to his dominance on the field for the Eagles, Mailata is a renowned singer.

One of the leading voices on the Philadelphia Eagles’ Christmas albums released the past two years, Mailata had one of the honors of a lifetime in December 2023. Mailata, Johnson, and former Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin performed at the White House holiday party for President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and others.

Mailata calls it the most nervous he’s ever been.

“We got to speak to President Biden and Dr. Jill for probably about 45 minutes,” Mailata told Delaware Online. “That was probably the surreal part of it. I thought it was going to be like ‘Oh, hi.’ We spoke for a little bit. And then he took us to the Oval Office. He’s like, randomly, you guys ever been to the Oval Office? I said, ‘Mr. President, it’s my first time here. I don’t know how I even got in here.’

“That was wild. If you had told me a couple years ago that I’d even be a starter in the NFL, I’d probably laugh in your face. But if you told me that I was going to be singing in the White House and then have an opportunity to spend time with the president of the USA and the first lady, I’d probably just walk away from you.”

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