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Baltimore just got a behemoth on its offensive line.
Australia’s Daniel Faalele is set to become the heaviest player in the NFL after being drafted in the fourth round by the Ravens.
The offensive tackle, who Baltimore selected No. 110 overall Saturday, measured 6 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed in at 384 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is set to take over the distinction of being the league’s heaviest player from New England Patriots lineman Trent Brown, who is listed at 380 pounds. But Brown will have financial incentives to stay under 365 pounds at weekly weigh-in sessions during the season.
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Faalele says he hopes to benefit from working with Baltimore offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and believes his unique frame can give him a unique advantage in the NFL.
“In the pass game just using my length and in the run game using my natural size to generate force and power, play explosive and be athletic for my size,” Faalele said. “Coach ‘D’ is an awesome coach. We had a great meeting. He just gave me that confidence. I know I’m in good hands.”
The Melbourne-born player had a unique journey to the league. He left Australia at age 16 with a rugby and basketball background and didn’t play competitive football until 2017, the Guardian reported.
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“I remember it like it was yesterday, leaving home and making that tough decision,” Faalele said. “Everything has happened for a reason, and it’s worked out for the best. … I wouldn’t change anything.”
After arriving in the U.S., Faalele played for Florida’s IMG Academy before committing to play at the University of Minnesota, where he started eight games as a freshman and became an All-Big Ten honorable mention right tackle in 2018.
Faalele played three seasons at tackle for the Gophers despite sitting out the 2020 season. He believes his lack of experience playing football could actually be a positive.
“Being new to football, it can be an advantage as I don’t have as many coaches in my career, so I have less bad habits,” Faalele said. “Whatever I’m taught from here on is what I know.”
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Faalele will now be tasked with protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson on a Ravens squad that went 8-9 last season.