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Pro Football Focus names Avonte Maddox the Eagles’ X-factor for 2019

And, Fletcher Cox is elite. Duh.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles made quite a few transactions during free agency this offseason. As rosters are closer to being set for the 2019 season, Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 team for ESPN+.

According to PFF, the Eagles have the fourth best roster in the NFL. Only the Patriots, Rams, and Saints rank above Philly. Looking around the NFC East, the Cowboys are 12th, Washington is 23rd, and the Giants are 27th.

PFF also confirmed some things we already know about the Eagles, including the amazingness of Fletcher Cox.

“Last season saw him finish second in total pressures (101), pressure rate (16.0%) and pass-rush win percentage (20.1) behind [Aaron] Donald but leaps and bounds above the next-best defender.”

They also talked about the team’s biggest weakness being their depth in the secondary, although they did note that a lack of quality defensive backs was a bit of a league-wide problem.

But, as far as who could end up being the team’s secret weapon, PFF chose a player who earned his stripes in 2018 and has shown the ability to be a versatile weapon for the Eagles’ defense.

“X factor for 2019: Avonte Maddox. The former fourth-rounder struggled from a grading perspective as a rookie last season but did show a penchant for limiting receivers in his coverage. In fact, he led all cornerbacks by allowing a reception just once every 21.7 snaps he spent in coverage and limited opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of just 59.9 when targeted.”

Based on PFF’s rankings, the Eagles have just 1 elite starter (Fletcher Cox), 3 good/high quality starters (Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, Zach Brown), and a whole lot of average and below average/rookie talent.

Granted, these rankings are based off of the 2018 season in which many of these lower-ranked players (Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Alshon Jeffery) were playing through, or sidelined by, injuries. So, I’d take some of these rankings with a grain of salt.

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