Eagles Select CB Sidney Jones in Second Round
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles took a page out of Sam Hinkie's book on Friday night, taking injured cornerback Sidney Jones with the 43rd pick in the NFL Draft.
Widely regarded as a top-20 talent, Jones tumbled in the draft after tearing his left Achilles at the University of Washington's pro day March 11.
“For us, it’s about what we believe this kid brings to our team going forward,” executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman said. “We anticipate a full recovery for him. We don’t know that timetable and, to be fair, we’re just going to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go, because we believe he could be an impact player for us for a long time.”
Jones' rehabilitation has been pegged at four to six months by Dr. Robert Anderson from his surgery date of March 22, meaning it's very unlikely he will be available until into the 2017 season and there is an opportunity that the Eagles simply redshirt him.
“The draft is about the long-term interest of your football team, and if you go into it and say, ‘Hey, we have this open spot on our depth chart, we’ve got to fill it right now,’ we’re going to miss opportunities to get the best player,” Roseman claimed. “When we look at it, for us, whatever the timetable is for Sidney, when he gets back and he’s 100 percent, he’s a difference maker at the corner position. For us, that’s something we’ve been looking for. It’s hard to get that guy, period, let alone with the 43rd pick in the draft.”
Before the injury, many had speculated that Philadelphia would take Jones at No. 14 overall in the first round, something Roseman confirmed the team was considering when discussing the pick.
“We’re just going to make sure we get 100 percent of Sidney going forward because this is an extremely talented guy at an important, hard-to-find position,” said Roseman.
Eagles scout Anthony Patch was on hand at Jones' pro day when the injury went down and wrote the UW product a hand-written note expressing the Eagles' continued interest. According to Jones, Patch was the only personnel man to make such a gesture.
A press-man corner, Jones is a very savvy prospect who diagnoses routes very well and shows very good closing speed with excellent ball skills.
At 6-foot-1 and 175, however, Jones is slight and like most modern corners struggles in run support although he does show a willingness to stick his nose in the pile.
“The thing that jumps out the most about Sidney is his length, his feet, he’s a very smooth mover,” Eagles personnel chief Joe Douglas said. “He can easily flip his hips, he can carry guys down the field. He’s very instinctive, very route-aware. He has a really good gauge on what the receiver’s going to do at the top of his routes. And I think he has ideal ball skills.”
Earlier in the round, Minnesota traded up to No. 41 overall to select Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, fueling speculation that Philadelphia was set to take him.
Roseman claimed he did not know if the Vikings believed Cook was on the Eagles' radar.
John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen