Philadelphia Eagles: Maddox becomes more valuable after Austin trade

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images) /

After the Dallas Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick for Tavon Austin, Avonte Maddox immediately becomes more valuable to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even though Avonte Maddox has only been a Philadelphia Eagles for about an hour, the diminutive defender already looks like a great value without playing a single snap in the NFL.

After some fans understandably question selecting a 5-foot-9  cornerback in the fourth round with other, seemingly more pressing needs like safety, offensive line and wide receiver still on the board, Howie Roseman stuck true to his ‘best player available’ mantra, and now looks like a genius following the Dallas Cowboys‘ recent trade for 5-foot-8 speedster Tavon Austin.

While the Eagles appear to have been targeting a slot cornerback even before news of the trade broke, as Patrick Robinson left the team to return home to New Orleans at the beginning of the 2018 NFL calendar year, the decision to select Maddox at 125 now looks like a stroke of pure genius mere hours later.

Though the NFC East’s current collection of slot receivers are fairly impressive, as Cole Beasley, Jamison Crowder, and Sterling Shepard have collectively gouged the Eagles’ defense for yards on the inside year-in and year-out, none of these players are the pure playmaker that Austin has proven himself to be at times in the NFL and maybe once more become while catching passes from Dak Prescott in Dallas.

Related Story: Philadelphia Eagles draft a speedy slot at 125 in Avonte Maddox

Though the Eagles weren’t exactly devoid of speed at the cornerback position going into the draft, as Ronald Darby ran a 4.38 at the 2015 NFL Combine, the fourth-year corner from Florida State routinely struggled against shiftier receivers down the stretch in 2017, and may have again had trouble keeping up with shifting playmaker on the inside in 2018.

With Mike Mayock describing Maddox as a “first round pick had he been a few inches taller” after the pick was announced on NFL Network, it looks like the Eagles lucked their way into a perfect inner-division defender who could add some optionality to Jim Schwartz‘s defensive backfield.

Next: 3 reactions to selection of Avonte Maddox in 2018 NFL Draft

Leaving Pitt with seven sacks and eight interceptions over his four-year career in the Steel City, Avonte Maddox has proven himself to be a legitimate playmaker when around the ball, and with Tavon Austin now a member of the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense may need him now more than ever.