1. Sidney Jones
Everyone’s been hoping the light would go on for Sidney Jones ever since the Eagles spent a second-round pick on a guy they knew wouldn’t be much of a contributor in his first season. Those same people who were hopeful are believers now.
The light hasn’t just come on. It’s been shining brightly. Had he not been injured on his Pro Day with the Washington Huskies, Jones would have been a first-round selection in 2017’s NFL Draft. Instead, he was given a redshirt in year one. Then, he again had some injury concerns in his second season. He’s healthy now, and it appears patience has produced a great reward.
2. Avonte Maddox
Who would have thought a former four-year starter with the Pittsburgh Panthers whose biggest honor at the collegiate level was being named Third Team All-ACC would turn out to be the baller that he’s become with the Eagles? Avonte Maddox didn’t just make a nice first impression. He kicked the door in.
Now firmly entrenched as a key cog in Jim Schwartz‘s defensive scheme, Maddox looks to improve on a nice start to his NFL career, where he stepped in for several injured teammates and racked up 35 total tackles, two interceptions, and four pass deflections. He’s a thumper too. He’s also got a forced fumble on his resume.