Eagles will be hoping to hang their hats on Avonte Maddox at CB2

Eagles avonte maddox
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 21: Philadelphia Eagles free safety Avonte Maddox (29) during the Philadelphia Eagles OTA on May 21, 2019 at the Novacare Training Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

If you’ve paid close attention to the things that have been said by coaches or even players, you’ll be aware that Avonte Maddox has grown close to the Eagles newest cornerback, Darius Slay. The Pitt product now has his gloves stuck to the CB2 spot after an impressive Summer, but just how high is his ceiling moving forward?

Darius Slay has already raved about his new teammate, by stating: “He makes plays, man. I’m looking forward to playing with him. Because he’s been putting a lot of work in. I and him have been communicating on and off the field. Working on drills and things. So I’m looking forward to seeing what he produces on the field this year. I’m excited for him.”

Entering camp, fans and media alike debated who would occupy the CB2 spot opposite Darius Slay. The lead candidates were Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones with Rasul Douglas close behind. Douglas couldn’t hold a candle to the 5’9 corner, while Sidney Jones has fallen victim to another injury.

It’s as if Avonte Maddox is a man of destiny right now. The Eagles have long loved the versatility that Maddox brings. That much was clear in his rookie year where the man who had only played nickel corner was thrown to Safety in week 8 against the Jaguars in a pinch – and thrived.

Maddox played snaps at Safety while also playing on the outside twice and in the nickel position as well. Last season, Maddox saw some action outside, including a showdown against DaVante Adams.

He was then forced to play outside against the Giants in the final game of the season. In the game, Maddox only played 26% of the defensive snaps while registering one pass deflection.

Maddox had ten total pass deflections last season and will look to expand on that in 2020. While many are concerned about the Eagles having a shorter corner on the outside, Eagles DB Coach Marquand Manuel had nothing but great things to say about the third-year corner.

“One of the things you guys know is that he’s the ultimate competitor,” mentioned Manuel. “And that’s really a huge part, and he has the advantage of also playing inside because motions and things of that nature that happen. So, from that standpoint, he has the ability to play in and also play outside.”

With the 2020 season only being two weeks away, Avonte Maddox may have run away with the starting CB2 position when Nickell is in the slot. Maddox allowed a 61% completion percentage which was higher than his 45% completion from his rookie season. Maddox will look to regain his form as he enters this season healthy with a new veteran influence in the defensive back room.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire