Last season, the Eagles were helped by the breakout season from Boston Scott late in 2019. For teams to succeed across the NFL, players need to step up and have breakout seasons. Here are three current Eagles players who could be in line for a breakout year in 2020.
3. T.J. Edwards, Linebacker
An undrafted free agent from 2019, T.J. Edwards came out of nowhere and made the team. After veteran, Zach Brown got released, and Nigel Bradham got injured, Edwards got the opportunity to see the field, where he played well. Despite only being on the field for 11% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps last season, Edwards was able to make an impact, recording 30 tackles. He was also a vital member of the Eagles’ special teams.
After the Eagles failed to provide a better option at linebacker, Edwards may be in line to start for 2020. He’s shown that he can be a great tackler in the open field. Having been an undrafted free agent, Edwards is still very unknown around the league. He’ll get the opportunity to play, and a breakout year from T.J. Edwards would go a long way for Jim Schwartz’s defense.
2. Avonte Maddox, Cornerback
A fourth-round pick by the Eagles in 2018, Avonte Maddox had a great rookie season, including two interceptions. However, Maddox wasn’t as strong in 2019 as he battled a neck injury. Part of the reason why he struggled was that he moved to the slot with Jalen Mills returning from a torn ACL.
Maddox is better suited to play on the outside, and that appears to be his role for 2020. With the Eagles acquiring Darius Slay to be a shutdown corner, it should take a lot of pressure off Maddox, who will start across from him. With Jalen Mills moving to safety, Maddox has a clear lead over Cre’Von Leblanc and Rasul Douglas to start week one. If Maddox can improve upon his promising 2018 form, it will go a long way for the Eagles.
1. Miles Sanders, Running Back
After a slow start to his rookie year, Miles Sanders turned it on during the second half of 2019, leading all rookies in all-purpose yards. Sanders is exceptionally agile and tough to bring down in the open-field due to his shiftiness. He is also a great option in the passing game for Carson Wentz, catching 50 passes for 509 yards and three touchdowns last year. Not to mention, he’s only 23 years old.
With Jordan Howard leaving for Miami, Sanders projects to be the Eagles’ every-down back for 2020. When Howard went down towards the end of 2019, Sanders showed he could be that top-tier running back. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason to believe Sanders can’t run for 1,000+ yards next season. The Eagles haven’t had an elite running back since LeSean McCoy left, and hopefully, Miles Sanders can become that guy.
Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!