Aussie who is the NFL’s biggest player at 174kg is set to make fairytale debut

Aussie NFL rising star Daniel Faalele – the league’s heaviest player – is set to realise an unlikely fairytale when he makes his debut for the Baltimore Ravens on Monday morning (AEST).

The 203cm, 174kg offensive lineman from Melbourne was originally picked by the Ravens as a project player in the fourth round of NFL draft in April, and many predicted he wouldn’t play this season at all.

But after impressing at training camp, and a spate of injuries to key personnel on the Ravens offensive line, Faalele is now set to remarkably suit up in Baltimore’s game against the Dolphins. 

It’s a remarkable achievement by the Aussie to adjust so smoothly to the cut-throat world of NFL like a duck to water.

Aussie NFL star Daniel Faalele, pictured with long-term partner Brianna Montgomery, is set to make his NFL debut on Monday morning

This is despite Faalele only playing American football for the first time in 2017 after being discovered by a coach for the University of Hawaii while working out at a gym in Melbourne.

After getting a taste of what the NFL is like up close from the sideline in the Ravens 24-9 win over the Jets last Monday, Faalele is pumped to be involved more.

‘The atmosphere was crazy, and of course it was 9/11 so that, and the crowd, made it a special game,’ he told Wide World of Sports. 

‘The national anthem came on, with the whole crowd singing, and that just gave me goosebumps.’ 

Faalele, who played two preseason games for the Ravens, looks set to run out in a season game for the first time on Monday

Faalele, who played two preseason games for the Ravens, looks set to run out in a season game for the first time on Monday

Shall he be asked to get out there on the field, he’ll be tasked with protecting one of the league’s most exciting quarterbacks; and Faalele said Lamar Jackson is everything the public expects of him. 

‘Lamar’s a lowkey dude, he’s great to be around – he’s funny as well. But just having him on the field at quarterback is something special, I can’t even explain it. He makes stuff happen that you never see,’ he said. 

Top Baltimore beat writer Jeff Zrebiec predicted Jackson may absolutely need protection by Faalele – with the team making no roster changes for the offensive line.   

Daniel Faalele and girlfriend Brianna Montgomery when the Aussie was at the University of Minnesota, prior to being drafted by the Ravens

Daniel Faalele and girlfriend Brianna Montgomery when the Aussie was at the University of Minnesota, prior to being drafted by the Ravens

‘Ravens do not elevate OT David Sharpe, so this almost certainly means that rookie OT Daniel Faalele will be active for first time and be the swing tackle,’ he wrote on Twitter

Faalele stood out, literally, prior to being drafted. 

While playing for the University of Minnesota, Faalele almost broke the internet when he became the largest man in college football history to score a touchdown.

Lining up at fullback, the 174kg tackle bulldozed over a pile of hapless West Virginia defenders.

We couldn’t see him line up in a skill position, could we? Surely not.

‘I’ve been playing a little bit of big tight end, so they’re just getting me around and seeing what I can do,’ Faalele said, suggesting Ravens coach John Harbaugh might have a few tricks up his sleeve.

‘Being an extra lineman is definitely fun, just coming down on somebody and blocking whoever’s in front of me. Not much thinking to do, really just playing fast and coming off the ball.’

Daniel Faalele was drafted by the Ravens in April, but was not expected to play many, if any, games this season as a project player

Daniel Faalele was drafted by the Ravens in April, but was not expected to play many, if any, games this season as a project player

Instead, Faalele will look to build on the two preseason games he played (pictured playing against the Cardinals on August 21) when he hopefully suits up for the Ravens game against the Dolphins

Instead, Faalele will look to build on the two preseason games he played (pictured playing against the Cardinals on August 21) when he hopefully suits up for the Ravens game against the Dolphins

Considering Travis Kelce, arguably the best tight end in the league, gives away 7cm and 57kg to Faalele it would be an extraordinary development.

The scenes Down Under if Faalele could line up at tight end and somehow manage to be the heaviest player to ever score an NFL touchdown would be a sight to behold. 

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