CB Avonte Maddox
When the Eagles selected Avonte Maddox in the fourth round not much was expected from him during his rookie season. However, the cornerback out of Pittsburgh exceeded expectations. Maddox started nine of the 13 games he played in this season and finished with 35 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumbled. Furthermore, he only allowed 18 receptions on 33 targets for 218 yards across his 391 snaps in the regular season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Maddox averaged 21.7 snaps per reception during the regular season. This rate was the best among all cornerbacks in 2018 and the best rating for a rookie cornerback since 2006.
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Additionally, Maddox’s 11.8 snaps per target were the second-best among cornerbacks this past season and best for any rookie cornerback since 2006.
Maddox is also a versatile defender. Due to numerous injuries, the Eagles were forced to use 35 different players on defense, counting 25 starters and a total of 10 different cornerbacks. Maddox was able to play outside cornerback, free safety, and nickel cornerback.
Maddox’s 0.56 yards per snap allowed in coverage during the 2018 campaign was the best out of all cornerbacks in the league, per PFF. Maddox even beat out Arizona Cardinals’ star Patrick Peterson who allowed 0.63 YPS in coverage.
In his rookie season, Maddox showcased he can play at a high level. He is only getting started, and we can expect to see more production from him in 2019. Could Maddox be the cornerback the Eagles have been searching for since they traded Asante Samuel back in 2012? We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.