Australia’s Man Mountain Daniel Faalele made his dream come true when he made his NFL debut on Monday morning Australian time – and Ravens fans are so keen on him they’re already begging their team for more.
The 82-inch, 174-pound offensive lineman was selected by the Ravens in the fourth round of the NFL draft in April — but expected by many as a project player who wouldn’t play much, if any, this season.
Faalele, the heaviest player in the entire league, scoffed at that prediction and saved for Baltimore in their heartbreaking 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
He was called up after impressing the Ravens’ coaching staff at preseason training camps and because the team’s offensive line suffered some crucial injuries early in the season.
Not content with just warming up from the bench, Faalele was substituted in at a few crucial moments during the high-scoring game, most notably blocking for star quarterback Lamar Jackson when he threw a touchdown on tight end Mark Andrews.
As an additional blocker on the right, the Aussie – pictured below in jersey number 77 – kept Jackson’s pocket clear as the superstar threw an easy one-yard touchdown.
It’s an incredible achievement for an Aussie who has only been playing the game for five years, only to adapt, let alone thrive in the regular season – but the patriarchal Ravens fans demand more.
Not from Faalele, who has obviously already caught the attention of the fan base, but from the team.
The Ravens brought in the heaviest man in the league as an added blocker in a couple of crucial third-down situations, but inexplicably chose not to use his size to their advantage.
The fact that it was his first NFL snap didn’t matter to Ravens supporters.
‘Ravens brought out rookie T (tackle) Daniel Faalele in third and 1st place for a great jumbo look. But they ran the other way for nothing,” lamented one Ravens fan on Twitter.
Even the Ravens’ editorial director, Ryan Mink, weighed in.
‘Daniel Faalele with his first NFL snap, as an additional blocker in third and first place. Ravens ran to the other side, but that was a lot of beef. Race for free,” he wrote on Twitter.
It wasn’t just the blocking – the bread and butter of an offensive linesman and better – the pundits or fans were behind too.
They’re hungry for the Australian to set a record as the heaviest player to score a touchdown.
Fans were able to draw inspiration from the moment Faalele stepped up at fullback while playing for the University of Minnesota and blazed a path for a touchdown.
It was a scene that quickly went viral and had NFL recruiters raving about the Aussie’s huge potential.
Top pundits and Ravens fans begged the team to let the man work on the goal line.
“Just give Daniel Faalele the ball, problem solved,” wrote prominent football journalist Jonas Shaffer on Twitter.
Faalele’s longtime girlfriend Brianna Montgomery was in attendance at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium to see his debut – clad in Ravens gear as she cheered on her man from the stands.
“RT (re-tweet) if you cried,” she captioned a video showing Faalele on the big screen.
Excitedly sharing the moment Faaele was on the field for Jackson’s touchdown, she wrote, “Don’t worry, right touchdown is good! TD on this track Go Ravens!’
It’s been a long road for Faalele to get to this point, having relocated to the United States from Melbourne in 2016 to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.
The Australian project’s selection still faced a major challenge after April’s draft to trim Baltimore’s final 53-man roster from the original 90 players.