The Philadelphia Eagles begin training camp next week and the battle at cornerback should be one of the better storylines to watch.
It is about to be the end of July, which means that training camp is just around the corner for the Philadelphia Eagles. There are position battles that need to be decided at training camp and the Eagles look like prime Super Bowl contenders as they enter the 2019 NFL season.
The primary position that needs to be decided is the hierarachy at cornerback. The five players battling for positioning on the depth chart are Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas.
Mills and Darby were the starters when the Eagles won the Super Bowl and will be the favorites given their proven experience. In that 2017 campaign, Mills had 64 total tackles, three interceptions and 14 pass deflections, all of those numbers career highs. As for Darby on the Super Bowl run, he finished with 34 total tackles, three interceptions and nine pass defenses.
In 2018, though, Mills was injured and dropped off, recording just 42 total tackles, nine pass defenses and no interceptions. As for Darby, he also dealt with injuries as he posted 43 total tackles, three interceptions and nine passes defensed.
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Jones missed the Super Bowl-winning season with Philadelphia due to injury as he entered the league. Unfortunately, though, he played in only nine games in the 2018 campaign. Maddox had a breakout season as he showcased his versatility, playing safety at times throughout the season. Douglas showed how he could use his size to affect the game on defense. At 6-2, the corner had 58 total tackles with three interceptions last season.
When you add in Cre’von LeBlanc this team is packed at cornerback.
Mills and Darby should have the starting spots tentatively heading into training camp. It’s their job to lose. Maddox and Jones, meanwhile, should be battling for the third corner spot. Maddox can also play safety so you may see him getting reps there also. Douglas and LeBlanc should see some time in a rotational role. Douglas really showed his ability to produce and his talent is too good to leave on the bench.
Darby and Mills were hurt last year and that opened up some opportunities for other players. If they aren’t up to speed during training camp or the preseason, any of the backups has proved that they are capable of stepping up.
The pair of Mills and Darby should win this battle because of their experience and the number of big-time snaps that they have had. Head coach Doug Pederson just trusts them more at this point. Either way, the Eagles have quality options at cornerback, making the camp battle well worth watching.