Once the dust settled on the 2018 NFL Draft, the Eagles only came away with five draft picks. With one of those picks never even playing football until a few months prior to the draft, we knew that realistically there were only maybe four players who could get on the field to help the 2018 Eagles. The team's first selection, Dallas Goedert, has received most of the attention, but Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas might have found a diamond in the rough in Avonte Maddox.
Maddox had a decent training camp and preseason, and ended up starting the season as a depth cornerback. With injuries to Rodney McLeod and Corey Graham, the Eagles soon saw themselves with secondary issues early in the season. Maddox was thrown into the pool, and came up swimming just fine as he provided promising play.
Maddox eventually moved back to his natural position to help the depleted cornerbacks corps, but the Maddox suffered an injury of his own in Week 11 that sidelined him until Week 15.
In his return on Sunday, Maddox picked up where he left off and showed that he deserves a fair look into a possible starting role in 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, Maddox allowed just 1 catch on 6 targets for 8 yards on Sunday Night.
His great game on Sunday started out with this interception on Jared Goff.
On the last drive of the game, Maddox made a veteran-type play where he was smart enough to get on the sideline and force Todd Gurley into the playing field, and then tackled Gurley inbounds to keep the clock running.
After being the defender that gave up the game-winning touchdown against the Titans in Week 4, Maddox got his revenge as he was targeted on the final play again, this time playing perfect coverageand making sure the Rams didn't tie the game.
The Eagles' cornerback situation heading into 2019 is a tricky one considering they will have Jalen Mills back fully healthy (and Jim Schwartz loves him) and the team also invested a 2nd-round pick in Sidney Joneswho so far appears to be injury-prone. Ronald Darbygetting hurt in his contract year also allows the team the option to possibly bring him back on a cheap one-year deal. Or they could possibly sign a cornerback in Free Agency or draft one.
Whatever the case may be, Avonte Maddox definitely deserves a chance to compete for a starting spot somewhere on the Eagles 2019 defense.