Meet The Rugby League Player Looking To Trade Swinton Lions For The NFL

Jacob Smillie, former Swinton Lions rugby league player, in action at the NFL International Combine.

NFLUK

The path from rugby league to American Football is, if not well-trodden, perhaps more trodden than it used to be. 

NFL fans are well aware of Jordan Mailata, the former South Sydney Rabbitohs junior turned offensive tackle who was recently re-signed to a $64 million USD contract at the Philadelphia Eagles.

Some might remember Jarryd Hayne, the former San Francisco 49ers and Parramatta Eels player who made 8 NFL appearances as a running back in 2015, while fewer still will recall Valentine Holmes, now back in Australia’s National Rugby League after failing to make the grade with the New York Jets.

Practically nobody will remember Manfred Moore, the California-born running back who swapped the NFL for Henson Park, turning out for Newtown Jets just months after playing in inaugural Tampa Bay Buccaneers team of 1976.

The next man on this path is ex-Swinton Lions and Jamaica winger Jacob Smillie, who recently appeared at the NFL International Combine in London. 

“I’ve been watching the Combine for a few years now, as it runs every year in the States for the college athletes who are eligible to go into the NFL,” said Smillie. “One of my best mates is a Philly fan so I started watching it a few years back and enjoyed the tactical aspect and athleticism the players had.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 21: Jordan Mailata #68 of the Philadelphia Eagles fights Marcus … [+] Davenport #92 of the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on November 21, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Combine involves players being tested in athletic terms, with aspects such as the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press strength, as well as position-based drills.

Talent spotters from across the NFL attend to watch players drawn from 15 different countries. It was where Jordan Mailata got his start, impressing scouts enough with his pace despite standing 6’8 and weighing over 340lbs (154kg). 

Befitting a rugby league winger, Smillie also excelled at the 40-yard dash, placing 4th of 44 participants—one of the key metrics for those looking to be scouted as a running back.

Smillie said that his skills on the rugby league field were enough to get him to the Combine, with his change of pace and direction vital, but that gridiron was as much about knowing the plays and your opponents.

“I see it as chess, where with constant match-ups,” he said. “For example, the wide receiver will match up against the cornerback, and the offensive line matches up against the defensive line.” 

“Everyone’s got their own role to play so, if you don’t get your role right then it affects the whole team and I like that aspect of the game.”

Numbers will now be whittled down from 44 to just 12, who will be taken to Florida for a further training camp, with some then taken on by specific franchises.

Even if Smillie doesn’t end up swapping Swinton Lions for the Detroit Lions, he said that the experience of training with athletes from around the world who shared his drive and determination.

“Rugby league is a good sport, but in the NFL, I feel that you can be more of an athlete,” he concluded. 

“As you can see in the combine, they look at all aspects of your athleticism like your speed, change of direction, strength, vertical and horizontal power. When I got the opportunity it was no brainer as in my opinion the NFL is the biggest league in the world with some of the best athletes.”

Source: Meet The Rugby League Player Looking To Trade Swinton Lions For The NFL

*This is a free press release. Upgraded press releases are ad-free!

Li Auto Sales Surge More Than 200%. The Stock Is Rising.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers visit http://www.djreprints.com. https://www.barrons.com/articles/li-auto-stock-earnings-guidance-deliveries-51638178389 Updated Nov. 29, 2021 5:27 am ET / Original Nov. 29, 2021 4:33 am ET Order Reprints Print Article Investors should be pleased with third-quarter numbers from Chinese electric vehicle maker…

Read Press Release

Wisibl – Making influencer marketing as easy as booking a cab | Product Hunt

ProductsTopicsBrowse products through topicsUpcoming productsSee what Makers are currently buildingCollectionsProducts curated by the communityTime travelMost loved products by the communityNewsletterThe best of Product Hunt, everydayLaunching soon?Read our pro tips to prepare your huntCommunityDiscussionsAsk questions, find support and connectStoriesTech news, interviews and tips from MakersMakers GrantGiving back and supporting our communityToolsFounder ClubAmazing deals to kickstart your…

Read Press Release

NFTs could be a path towards new social interactions

NFTs have been continuously rising despite the price actions in the crypto market. These Non-Fungible Tokens are evolving as a topic of interest to a mainstream conversation. Variety of these crypto collectibles are drawing a new audience of enthusiasts. Notably, the entire industry is offering a glimpse into a new layer of social interaction. These…

Read Press Release

Taiwan Scrambles Jets after Chinese Air Force Breaches Buffer Zone

A Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off during a military exercise in southern Taiwan in 2014. Taiwan scrambled combat aircraft after Chinese jets flew through Taiwan’s air defense zone on Sunday, days after several U.S. lawmakers concluded a surprise visit to the island nation. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 18 fighter jets from mainland…

Read Press Release

Meet The Rugby League Player Looking To Trade Swinton Lions For The NFL - Click To Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp