The Eagles will have a 91st player on their offseason roster after being awarded former Iowa State defensive end, Matt Leo, as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
Leo, a 27-year-old Australian native, was a part of the Cyclones’ defensive line rotation over the past two seasons, piling up 33 tackles - 11.5 of those for loss - and three sacks.
The 6-foot-7, 275-pound project started his college career at Arizona Western Community College before transferring to Iowa State.
The IPP was instituted to increase the number of non-North American players in the NFL and is the brainchild of two former British-born players, Aden Durde and two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora.
The program was instituted in 2017 and is designed to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to earn a spot on an NFL roster.
Players selected to the program who aren’t signed to a free agent contract are randomly awarded to one of the NFL’s eight divisions. Following training camp, each player will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption with his assigned team.
Back in 2018 the Eagles made Jordan Mailata the first player from the IPP drafted into the NFL when they took the big Australian rugby star in the seventh round.
Leo will join a deep defensive end group that includes Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall, Joe Ostman, and 2020 seventh-round pick Casey Toohill of Stanford.
John McMullen covers the Eagles for SI.com and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every day on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, Every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio, and every weekday on ESPN 97.3 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen