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Jarryd Hayne with advice for NFL draftee Jordan Mailata

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The former Rugby League-turned-49ers-running back had some words for another athlete going from one sport to professional football.

Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles spent the 233rd pick in the 2018 NFL draft on Rugby League star Jordan Mailata. While Mailata has never played a down of American football, the highlight videos of the 6’7, reportedly 350 pound star are kind of ridiculous.

If you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan, word of a Rugby League player coming to the NFL will bring back memories of brief 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne. The 49ers signed Hayne in 2015, with virtually no football experience to his credit. He was a household name in Australia’s Rugby League, but wanted to take on a new challenge.

Now out of the NFL, Hayne recently talked about his own experiences and how they might relate to Mailata.

‘’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 had struggles aplenty in the NFL. Fumbling was his main issue, but he also had an immense language barrier to overcome between Rugby League and professional football. He showed some solid promise with his punt return ability, but after struggling to learn one playbook and moving to another when the 49ers switched coaching staffs in back to back years, Hayne felt his age at 28 years made him inadequate to become a full-fledged NFL starter.

Mailata will face some of the same difficulties as Hayne. Luckily for Mailata, there’s a few differences. For one thing, the Eagles have enough stability that he won’t have to learn two different offensive schemes. Hayne went from Geep Christ’s system to that of Chip Kelly. For another, Mailata is 20 years old entering the NFL as opposed to Hayne’s 28.

Still, it’s interesting seeing Hayne look back on his time in the NFL and provide some solid advice to the rookie. Hayne left to join Fiji sevens team to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics. While the two haven’t met, hopefully Mailata gives Hayne’s experience some thought.