Melbourne-born Daniel Faalele was picked on Sunday by the Ravens and is now officially the heaviest player in the NFL.
Australian Daniel Faalele’s NFL dreams came true on Sunday morning (AEST) when he was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens in this year’s 110th draft pick.
At 2.03m tall and 174kg, Faalele looks set to become the heaviest player in the NFL and fifth heaviest in league history if he keeps his weight.
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It’s a life-changing moment – and he ended up with a team he’d met before the draft. The Ravens had already targeted him as one of 30 players they were able to interview and medically evaluate.
Faalele left the meeting excited to work with Baltimore offensive line manager Joe D’Alessandris,
“When I made my 30th visit to the Ravens I had a great feeling,” he told the team.
“Coach ‘D’ is a fantastic manager. We had a great meeting. He talked about how he coached Orlando Brown [Jr.] and stuff before.
“He just gave me that confidence. I know I’m in good hands. I had a good feeling that we would be okay and I’m just happy that everything worked out. “
Melbourne-born Faalele had no experience in American football when he was discovered in his teens by a University of Hawaii coach.
Like Australian NFL superstar Jordan Mailata, Faalele had a background in rugby, but the movement skills he developed playing basketball made him particularly attractive to scouts, as did his frightening size.
The NFL searchable database dates back to 2003 and lists no player heavier than Faalele to have taken part in a draft meld.
Faalele has been on the University of Minnesota offensive line since 2018 and started as a right tackle in 31 of 34 college football games he played.
He earned All-Big Ten honorable mentions in 2018 and 2019 and in 2021 the coaches of the Big Ten Conference selected him as the All-Big Ten First Team.
The Australian became a cult hero in December when he lined up as a full-back in the last game of his college career and pitched in for a short-range touchdown.
A touchdown video, the first of Faalele’s career, circulated widely online.
Originally published as NFL Australian promising Daniel Faalele enlisted by the Baltimore Ravens