Philadelphia Eagles acquire defensive end through International Player Pathway program


The Philadelphia Eagles selected 10 players last week in the 2020 NFL Draft, then added 13 more as undrafted free agents as a result. But they haven’t finished adding to the list yet.

The Eagles acquired defensive end Matt Leo as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program. Leo, from Adelaide, Australia, has spent the past three seasons in Iowa State.

The International Player Pathway program was launched in 2017 as an NFL initiative to expand its reach globally.

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Leo, who turns 28 early next month, had 14 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and a sack in 13 games for Iowa State last season. The 6-foot-7, 275-pound defensive end has recorded 33 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks in 29 games in three seasons with the Cyclones.

He didn’t play football growing up in Australia, but he did play rugby, which is similar to Eagles offensive lineman Jordan Mailata. Leo played two seasons at Arizona Western Community College, where he was ranked as a three-star rookie among the top 50 junior college prospects nationally by some departments.

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The International Player Pathway program is the same route Mailata took for the NFL, although the Eagles used a seventh-round pick against him in the 2018 NFL Draft. Leo has been assigned to the Eagles and every NFC team. East received a player from the program.

The Eagles will carry Leo in their roster until the end of training camp, at which point Leo will be eligible for an international players training squad exemption. He would be the 11th member of the 10-man training squad, but he would not be eligible to be activated on the roster during the season.

Daniel Gallen covers the Philadelphia Eagles for PennLive. He can be contacted at [email protected]. You can follow it on Twitter and Facebook. Follow PennLive’s Philadelphia Eagles coverage on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

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