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Avonte Maddox is Moving Back to the Slot

When the Eagles signed Steven Nelson before the start of Training Camp, they fixed their second cornerback position for the immediate future, and while doing so it pushed Avonte Maddox into the slot. When Howie Roseman drafted Maddox in 2018, the idea was to use him as a slot corner, but bad injury luck has forced Maddox to play out of position as an outside corner. Maddox has had his struggles going against teams top wideouts because he simply does not have the size to compete, as he stands at 5'9", whereas most outside receivers are anywhere from 6 ft to 6'5".

In Maddox's rookie year, he played more of a hybrid role in the slot and at safety, but in the last few games of the year he was forced to play outside. Needless to say, Maddox was spectacular in his 'freshman' season, as he only allowed 45.2% completion percentage and a 52.0 passer rating when targeted in coverage. Many thought Maddox could be the franchise corner of the future in Philly, which was not what Maddox was drafted to be. In the last two seasons he was forced to be an outside corner, leading to his completion percentage and passer rating when targeted in coverage both dropping drastically over each of the last two seasons.

Maddox has a tendency to jump routes quickly for pass breakups, breaking up 10 passes in 2019, but he also tends to get picked on in double moves and jump balls. If Slay and Nelson stay healthy this year, Maddox will play strictly in the slot splitting snaps with rookie corner Zech McPhearson, allowing Maddox to play against smaller receivers that do not have a size advantage against him. Maddox will also be playing close to the line of scrimmage in press coverage, allowing him to get his hands on more balls. Maddox will need to improve on his tendency to bite on double moves, but the 25 year old DB is set to have a breakout season heading into year four.

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