- Just eight spots after fellow Pitt defensive back Jordan Whitehead was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Avonte Maddox joined the NFL ranks when the Philadelphia Eagles snagged him in the fourth round with the 125th overall pick.
As a Panther, Maddox was a consistent presence in the defensive backfield during his four-year career which spanned from 2014 to 2017.
Maddox was an impact player for the Panthers beginning with his true freshman year, when he nabbed a starting cornerback job with five games left in the 2014 season and never looked back.
Maddox consistently ranked as Pitt’s most productive cover man over the next three years. He led the Panthers in both interceptions and pass breakups in each of those seasons, compiling a total of 42 pass breakups, 183 tackles, and eight interceptions — two of which were returned for touchdowns — over the course of his four-year career. He also showed improvement as a blitzer, accumulating two sacks in his junior year and four as a senior.
Maddox helped his draft stock with an explosive showing at the NFL draft combine, where he ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 — the seventh fastest among all defensive backs. Part of his scouting profile also included positive comments such as “Possesses high football and personal character” and “Beloved by coaching staff for work ethic and attitude.” Maddox’s reception of the Panther Award, presented annually to the senior student-athlete who has best promoted Pitt Athletics through outstanding athletic achievement, further evidenced his positive character.
As a fourth-round pick to a quality Eagles’ defense, Maddox should initially make his presence known on special teams. If he displays the same work ethic he showed as a Panther, his explosiveness and ball skills should eventually earn him a chance to contribute as a starter in Philadelphia.