Australians heralding new and exciting era for the NFL

The NFL is becoming more global by the day, and for many aspiring footballers, it remains the dream. Well, that is certainly the case for those based in the Pacific, and in particular, Australians are gravitating towards it.

Perhaps the NFL is the perfect breeding ground for football code converts as the position of punter, for example, requires an innate understanding of Aussie Rules and rugby union, and there is a similar skill set.

More significantly, over 30 Australians have made the switch since 2004, and former Aussie Rules star Nathan Chapman even made a few appearances for the Green Bay Packers.

Some have benefitted from a good college grounding, while others have tried to make the leap to the NFL through the esteemed and highly regarded NFL International Combine which was held in London.

Of the Aussie contingent that has made an instant impact, Daniel Faalele has produced some spellbinding performances for the Baltimore Ravens on the offensive line after being drafted in the fourth round this year. He was immediately thrust in at left tackle to cover for the injured Lamar Jackson, and it wasn’t a position he wasn’t accustomed to playing. Nevertheless, Faalele has contributed to the Ravens’ good form.

The rise has certainly sparked more excitement in the NFL in his homeland, and naturally, this will translate into increased interest from a betting perspective. Our recommended sports betting sites in Australia will carry a wide range of pre-match lines as well as futures. So, for example, at Unibet, you can find odds for players to have the most rushing yards or for the Ravens to be crowned AFC North champions this term.

And recently, Jackson was effusive in his praise for Faalele, as he said: “You know, (Daniel) Faalele is a rookie, so I knew that was kind of to see where he was, but I guess one sack happened after that, and he just started dominating after college.

“I didn’t doubt him at all. None of us did.”

But Faalele isn’t alone in making the seamless transition to the NFL. Jordan Mailata has been one of the most high-profile players to hail from Australia, and he is thriving at the Philadelphia Eagles.

Having been drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft in 2018 as an international recruit, Mailata put pen to paper on a whopping $86million contract last year.

Colin Ridgway was the first Australian to make the switch to the NFL back in 1956, and he perfectly illustrated that some Aussies are adept at competing in different codes.

The exodus to the NFL is likely to continue, with former Super Bowl winner Jesse Williams admitting recently he had been inundated with messages from several NRL and rugby union players expressing their interest to play in the NFL.

Currently, eight Australians are competing in the NFL this season, and Faalele looks like being a success story. And judging by what we have seen so far, it won’t be long before more Aussies follow suit and move to the NFL.

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