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Did the Philadelphia Eagles Get the Steal of the Draft?

Did the Philadelphia Eagles Get the Steal of the Draft?

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While obviously nobody can truly be named the steal of the draft after just one-year Philadelphia could have a strong candidate in Avonte Maddox.

The 4th round pick defensive back out of Pitt was somebody that you did not hear much about at the beginning of the season even among Eagles fans. At one-point, De’Vante Bausby was above Maddox on the Eagles depth chart.

Maddox quickly proved his worth this season sliding in at safety after the injury to Rodney McLeod thrust Maddox into playing reps at safety. As the injuries piled up in the secondary Maddox displayed a remarkable ability to play both corner and safety.

One of the biggest reasons that the Eagles were able to get Maddox so late in the draft was his undersized 5’9” frame. While you could see teams try to attack him with taller receivers, he showed a great ability to force receivers into the sideline as if it was a second defender, and a great ability to play both the ball and the receiver on the throw.

The Eagles showed a growing amount of trust in Avonte Maddox at times leaving him on an island with receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson. Though Robinson burned Maddox a couple times in the second half of the wild-card round and Hopkins won his fair share of matchups these are two premier receivers that Maddox did a good job of containing.

Of course, his biggest shining weakness proved to be the same of most young corners and that is the double move. While you obviously saw Allen Robinson take advantage of him in the Wild Card round using this you could also see him learn to read it better and was rarely burnt by this move outside of that one half.

Finishing the year with two interceptions and a forced fumble Maddox showed only a glance of what he could become. The undersized defensive back could be the next to prove that a small frame doesn’t mean you can’t be elite in the NFL.

-By: Austin Bronstad

Jerome Jones
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