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Australian NFL star Daniel Faalele overcomes huge hurdle and is named on Baltimore Ravens roster

Aussie who became the NFL’s biggest player at 174kg overcomes HUGE hurdle despite suffering a knee injury and only taking up the game five years ago

  • Daniel Faalele has made the Baltimore Ravens final 53-man roster
  • It comes after the Melbourne native was drafted by the club in April 
  • The 203cm, 174kg offensive lineman is the biggest current player in the NFL
  • Making the roster is a huge achievement given his inexperience and knee injury 

Aussie man mountain Daniel Faalele has been named on the final Baltimore Ravens NFL roster, despite only taking up the game five years ago and suffering a preseason knee injury. 

It’s an incredible achievement for the 203cm, 174kg offensive lineman and Melbourne native, who is the biggest player in the NFL currently, and second biggest of all time.

Faalele, who is still just 22, has only been playing gridiron since 2017 after moving from Australia to the US, where he was eventually recruited to the University of Minnesota‘s football program.

Daniel Faalele, pictured with long-term girlfriend Brianna Montgomery, at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota

Daniel Faalele, pictured with long-term girlfriend Brianna Montgomery, at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota

Faalele playing for the Baltimore Ravens in their preseason game against Arizona on August 21

Faalele playing for the Baltimore Ravens in their preseason game against Arizona on August 21

After being selected by the Ravens in the fourth round of April’s NFL draft, the Aussie project pick still faced an uphill challenge to make the final 53-man roster down from the original 90 players.

Despite still being raw, injuring his knee during preseason training and giving up years of experience to his teammates, Faalele impressed the coaching staff and earned his spot through sheer hard work.

It’s a phenomenal achievement for an Aussie in a position that is one of the most important on an NFL team. 

Daniel Faalele with mother Ruth after the Aussie was drafted by the Ravens in April

Daniel Faalele with mother Ruth after the Aussie was drafted by the Ravens in April

Faalele took to the field as an NFL player for the first time for two preseason games, making his debut against the Titans before playing against the Cardinals. 

The fact he played so many snaps – the second most on the team – in the Titans game in particular points to how highly he is already regarded by the coaching staff.

One particular highlight (seen below, Faalele is wearing number 77) showed him easily blocking his opponent on the right side of the line, which helped running back Mike Davis go through for a four-yard touchdown.

Daniel Faalele (right) blocks Rashad Weaver in the Ravens' preseason victory last week

Daniel Faalele (right) blocks Rashad Weaver in the Ravens’ preseason victory last week

Faalele is understandably raw when it comes to the finer points of blocking, but Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman could not be more impressed by the former University of Minnesota standout’s progress.

‘I’m really happy with him. I think he took a step by staying here after our offseason program and working with our strength and conditioning staff and whatnot here,’ Roman said after a recent training session. 

‘I really think that allowed him to come into training camp in much better shape, and ready to compete.’ 

Daniel Faalele, who was born and bred in Melbourne, was recruited to Baltimore from the University of Minnesota

Daniel Faalele, who was born and bred in Melbourne, was recruited to Baltimore from the University of Minnesota 

Instead of going home to put his feet up and have a festive beverage or two for six weeks between the mandatory minicamp and the annual preseason training camp for the entire roster, Faalele knuckled down and stayed at the Ravens facility. 

It helped him get much fitter for training camp, and he passed the conditioning test with flying colours, despite his enormous frame.

Faalele will now look to continue rehabbing his injured knee, and look to make his official NFL debut for the Ravens this season.

The powerful franchise, led by superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson, begin their campaign against the lowly Jets on Monday, September 12 (AEST). 

Baltimore Ravens 53-man roster 

Final 53-man roster for the Ravens after cuts were announced on Wednesday 

OFFENSE (27)

Quarterback (2)

  • Lamar Jackson
  • Tyler Huntley

Running Back (4)

  • J.K. Dobbins
  • Mike Davis
  • Justice Hill
  • Patrick Ricard

Wide Receiver (5)

  • Rashod Bateman
  • Devin Duvernay
  • James Proche II
  • Demarcus Robinson
  • Tylan Wallace

Tight End (5)

  • Mark Andrews
  • Isaiah Likely
  • Nick Boyle
  • Charlie Kolar
  • Josh Oliver

Offensive Line (11)

  • Ronnie Stanley
  • Ben Powers
  • Tyler Linderbaum
  • Kevin Zeitler
  • Morgan Moses
  • Patrick Mekari
  • Ja’Waun James
  • DANIEL FAALELE 
  • Tyre Phillips
  • Ben Cleveland
  • Trystan Colon
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson

DEFENSE (23)

Defensive Line (5)

  • Calais Campbell
  • Michael Pierce
  • Justin Madubuike
  • Travis Jones
  • Broderick Washington

Outside Linebacker (3)

  • Odafe Oweh
  • Justin Houston
  • David Ojabo

Inside Linebacker (5)

  • Patrick Queen
  • Josh Bynes
  • Malik Harrison
  • Josh Ross
  • Kristian Welch
Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell

Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell

Cornerback (6)

  • Marlon Humphrey
  • Marcus Peters
  • Kyle Fuller
  • Brandon Stephens
  • Jalyn Armour-Davis
  • Damarion ‘Pepe’ Williams

Safety (4)

  • Marcus Williams
  • Chuck Clark
  • Kyle Hamilton
  • Geno Stone

SPECIALISTS (3)

  • Kicker — Justin Tucker
  • Punter — Jordan Stout
  • Long Snapper — Nick Moore

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