Hayne's advice to NFL draftee Mailata
Parramatta Eels star Jarryd Hayne has warned NFL draftee Jordan Mailata to shelve any ideas he may have about what to expect in US professional football.
Mailata, a former South Sydney Rabbitohs under 20s player, was selected by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the seventh round.
After the Eels defeated the Wests Tigers 24-22 on Sunday, three years on from starting his own NFL journey, an injured Hayne recalled his own memories from his time at the San Francisco 49ers.
"I think he needs to understand you have to expect the unexpected, that's the biggest thing," Hayne told NRL.com.
"You can go into the NFL and understand a little bit of what you're going to learn, but until you sit down in a room and see the playbook, the defensive schemes, it just blows your mind.
''I went in there with some idea, like 'oh yeah, I kind of get it' but not only do you have to learn all the schemes, but you also change them every week. And it's not one of those things where you get time to learn and change them; it's like 'BOOM we're doing this now' and you're expected to know it," Hayne said.
The biggest and most obvious change in the difference of the game will be Mailata's introduction to helmets and padding. When interviewed over the weekend, Mailata, who is yet to play a game of American football, admitted trying on a helmet for the first time was daunting, a reminder that he has a lot to learn.
"He needs to get used to the helmet obviously because offensive linemen have to do a lot of non-verbal communication where you can't speak to the guy next to you, you've got to be able to signal him, you've got to be on the same page. For example, the quarterback might change the blocking scheme or the defence might rotate in an instance, just little things like that,'' Hayne said.
''The helmet does hinder your vision but you've got to really get used to it in order to see how everyone is moving, and the rotations."
Upon being interviewed by NFL.com in relation to whether Maitlala had crossed paths with Hayne in Australia, the 20-year old said he hadn't.
"Unfortunately, I do not know Jarryd Hayne personally, we haven't really connected, but I am sure now we might have a few words," he said.
Despite the two not having yet met, Hayne is backing the NFL novice, and believes the former young Bunnies prop couldn't be in a better position to succeed.
"I think it's awesome, it's a great opportunity for Jordan. His size and his athleticism obviously stood out to the scouts. Just look at the organisation he's going to, he's going to a team who just won the Super Bowl. There's obviously a reason why they've drafted him.
''He reminds me a lot of Trent Brown who was at the Niners; he's exactly like Jordan, the same tangibles, he's big, he's athletic but also has to keep learning the game.
Hayne famously followed his own dreams, entering the NFL as rookie in the 2015 season with the 49ers and while it's easy to assume Mailata may not make the final cut, Hayne knows ultimately that whatever road Maitala takes will be up to him.
"It's one of those things where if you can make it in Philly, you can make it anywhere, I'll be supporting him and in his corner," Hayne said.