LONDON – You hear it every year when NFL Draft season comes around. The draft is a crapshoot. Some players end up being first-round busts, while undrafted players have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers.
On a crisp Sunday afternoon in London, the Eagles got major contributions from three players involved in last year's draft, all three coming to the Eagles at different points on the draft weekend. Dallas Goedert, a top-50 pick; Avonte Maddox, a fourth-round pick; and Josh Adams, an undrafted free agent, came up clutch for the Eagles in a 24-18 win.
Maddox, who's filled in nicely at safety for Rodney McLeod, made the biggest play of the game for the Eagles. With the Eagles' offense sputtering during the first half, the Jaguars had a chance to expand on their 6-3 right before halftime. Maddox made a huge hit over the middle on Keelan Cole, forcing the ball free. Malcolm Jenkins was right there to scoop it up and swing the momentum instantly back to the Eagles.
"I just saw him running across the field and I sort of dove down and tried to hit him my hardest, and the ball popped out," Maddox said. "I knew I was going to go across his body, and I was trying to make a play for the guys. I was trying my hardest to make a play and get the ball back because I knew we had time.
"It was good that we got the ball back for our offense and they got it into the end zone for us."
The Eagles indeed got into the end zone for the first time of the day shortly after Maddox's big play, thanks to a huge 32-yard connection between Carson Wentz and Goedert, a beautifully designed rollout play that found a hole in the Jaguars' defense.
"We were lined up in a big formation with all of the tight ends on one side and I was able to sneak out the back side and kind of got cut loose," Goedert said. "Carson found me, and the O-line and tight ends did a great job blocking it up for Carson to have time.
"We were able to crease them a couple of times, which is huge in a game, so give credit to the coaches, the players in the game just executing what their jobs were."
While Maddox and Goedert supplied the spark plays, Adams provided a steadying presence at the running back position. The Eagles have cycled through running backs this season due to injury, but on Sunday, it was Adams who made the most of his opportunity, rushing for a game-high 61 yards on nine carries.
"I'm blessed to be here so I'm just staying patient and waiting for whenever my opportunity may come. Just taking it one day at a time, trying to get better each day," Adams said. "I just each and every week try to stay ready. You never know what can happen on gameday, so I try to prepare as well (as I can). It just so happened that I got a little bit more today, but I don't focus on stuff like that. I just try to focus on what I can do, and if I get my opportunity, try to take advantage of it."
Now, thanks in part to a huge contribution from a trio of rookies, the Eagles go into their bye week at 4-4, and head into the second half of their season with optimism and momentum.
"That's huge," Goedert said of the win. "We talked about this game, getting back on track, getting a win going into the bye week and just keep going from there, so I'm really excited to get back to work for the next week."
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Jaguars in London.