Once again, the Philadelphia Eagles have an early riser from a later pick for the secondary. A few years ago, we witnessed the emergence of Jalen Mills. Despite being a seventh-round selection in 2016, Mills established himself as one of the more reliable cornerbacks on the Eagles at that time, which made him a starter for the next two seasons.
Last year, we saw some flashes from rookie cornerback, Avonte Maddox. Although he wasn’t selected as late as Mills, the fourth-rounder still showed some immediate progress when thrown into the fire last year. Maddox wasn’t expected to get much playing time last season, but the injuries to the secondary forced him into a significant premature role.
First, we witnessed him fill in at safety, despite never playing the position in his career. Somehow, Maddox fared well. Then, he was asked to cover in the nickel at cornerback. Once again, Maddox was reliable there as well. Later on down the line, Maddox had to get forced to the outside at cornerback where he hardly practiced at all last season and little did we know, he would become one of the better players to take over the outside last season.
Now, it’s become quite evident that Maddox deserves to be on the field one way or another this season. A starting job won’t be given to him right off the bat, as a battle will ensue. However, it sure sounds like Maddox understands that, and is earning his right to get on the field next season so far at OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Let’s check in on some of the praise he’s garnered from the insiders at the Nova Care Complex.
Will Maddox get a starting position this season? It seems like the odds have gone up. However, it’s also necessary to note that Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills haven’t been able to participate at all this offseason. If they are back by training camp, they will likely be given a fair shot. As of right now though, it definitely sounds like Maddox has the upper-hand.
And considering that the Eagles paid Ronald Darby a decent salary for this one season, there’s no way they plan on benching him. So it feels like the battle will be a four-way fight on the outside between Maddox, Mills, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. May the best corner win.