Welcome to Ranking em’ Eagles… Cornerback edition!
While healthy, the Eagles can display a serious threat to the NFL at the cornerback position. They have young backs like Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and Rasul Douglas.
Last season, during the duration when four defensive backs were injured, Maddox and LeBlanc stepped up for the Eagles. LeBlanc was signed off waivers by the Eagles in early November. He struggled early, but absolutely balled out at the end of the season and the playoffs.
Before Eagles’ Spring OTAs start, we’ll be breaking down the Eagles cornerbacks and also ranking them for you.
No. 1 – Rasul Douglas
2018 stats: 58 COMB tackles – 10 AST tackles – 0 sacks – 3 INT – 14 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 7 GS
Douglas thrives in tackling rather than coverage. Yes, he had three picks which is unarguably impressive for someone who only started seven games, but no other cornerback in the NFC East can tackle as well as Douglas can. The dude makes a statement almost every game… Just give it a couple snaps and the 23-year-old is already diving at a wide receiver’s legs to lose the adversary two or three yards.
Accepting the holding penalty winds up working in Eagles’ favor. Rasul Douglas with another tackle on 3rd down and Maher misses the FG. pic.twitter.com/xlbKLrQpJv
— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) December 9, 2018
No. 2 – Cre’Von LeBlanc
2018 stats: 24 COMB tackles – 4 AST tackles – 0 sacks – 0 INT – 0 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 4 GS
LeBlanc was signed off waivers by the Eagles in early November. He struggled at first, but balled out at the end of the season. It wasn’t so much his tackling that the 24-year-old excelled at, but his coverage. Here is a beautiful interception off Drew Brees in the divisional round of the playoffs (via Twitter):
— Michael Hanisco (@michaelhanisco) February 28, 2019
Wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Eagles re-sign LeBlanc next offseason.
No. 3 – Ronald Darby
2018 stats: 43 COMB tackles – 4 AST tackles – 0 sacks – 1 INT – 16 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 9 GS
Darby tore his ACL in early November, nonetheless, did an adequate job as an Eagles cornerback in the nine games he played. Eagles recently re-signed Darby to a 1-year contract throughout 2019. Assuming he’ll be healthy, this was a no-brainer for the Eagles–they really liked his play during training camp prior to the 2018 season, and now feel comfortable with giving him another chance.
No. 4 – Jalen Mills
2018 stats: 42 COMB tackles – 6 AST tackles – 0 sacks – 0 INT – 0 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 8 GS
Mills struggled during the 2018 season, so ranking him at number four was something I felt quite comfortable doing. It was typical to see Mills get burnt on the double-move once or twice a game–which quickly became what he was infamously known for. “Burnt toast,” as many people called the 24-year-old. Here’s a pretty hilarious Mills’ meme (via Twitter):
Just Jalen Mills’d my toast pic.twitter.com/e8xeo6mISO
— Stoney (@mtoneseleca) October 31, 2018
That aside, Eagles fans should still be thankful for Mills–he’s a big reason why the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018, because of his coverage on Julio Jones on the last play of the Divisional Round of the 2018 Playoffs.
No. 5 – Avonte Maddox
2018 stats: 35 COMB tackles -7 AST tackles – 0.5 sacks – 2 INT – 23 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 9 GS
Deciding where to rank Maddox was a hard one… The 22-year-old played safety more than he played cornerback. But when he did play cornerback, I felt comfortable ranking him at number five on this list. If this was safety edition of Ranking em’ Eagles, Maddox would definitely be two. Here’s Maddox picking off Super Bowl participant quarterback Jared Goff (via Twitter):
The rookie Avonte Maddox (@2live_AM) picks off Jared Goff 👏
— NFL (@NFL) December 17, 2018
No. 6 – Sidney Jones
2018 stats: 25 COMB tackles – 4 AST tackles – 0 sacks – 0 INT – 0 YDs off INT – 0 TD – 4 GS
Jones still has plenty to prove to the Eagles. The 22-year-old was a top cornerback entering the 2017 draft before tearing his ACL. As of the 2019 offseason, injuries still haven’t left him… Jones has to fix that fast. When he is healthy, he still didn’t entirely impress. Not much else to say about Jones.
Stay tuned for more Eagles’ positional rankings! Feel free to comment any opinion of yours about Eagles’ cornerbacks below.Follow @EaglesFeast