With the 43rd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select ... Washington cornerback Sidney Jones!
This is certainly an interesting pick for the Eagles. Leading up to this year’s draft, Jones was believed to be a potential option for Philadelphia in the first round at No. 14. That changed when Jones suffered an Achilles injury at his pro day. Instead of being a sure-fire Day 1 selection, Jones was then expected to fall out of the first round. Which he did.
The Eagles were in DESPERATE need of cornerback help. Jones’ injury will prevent him from being an immediate solution for Philadelphia; he reportedly won’t be ready until October at the earliest. Even if Jones does return by then, he’ll still have missed the entire offseason, which probably means he won’t have a significant role in 2016.
And so it appears the Eagles are taking a long-term approach to fixing the cornerback position. It’s possible Philadelphia’s patience pays off and the Birds got a steal. It’s also possible Jones might not be the same player after the injury. It’s a signficant risk.
Jones, 20, measures in at 6-0, 186 pounds. In three years at Washington, Jones had 145 tackles, 21 passes defensed, eight interceptions, and six forced fumbles.
Cornerback is still a very, very big need for Philadelphia despite drafting Jones. It’s very, very possible the Eagles draft another cornerback considering the depth in this year’s class.
Here’s BGN’s scouting report on Jones.
NFL Comparison: Sidney Jones has a lot of Casey Hayward to his game, dating all the way back to Hayward’s days at Vanderbilt. Hayward was a bit lanky coming out of college, but his ability to create turnovers as a man cover corner was absolutely undeniable. Since then, he has been one of the better cornerbacks in the league when he’s healthy. Jones’ game is similarly predicated on his playmaking skills, and, frankly, the ability to constantly be around the ball should be a baseline trait in potential first round cornerbacks.
Scheme Fit: Jones’ fit on the Eagles would be a bit more of a projection considering how much more Jim Schwartz likes to play off coverage. Jones certainly has the skill set to thrive in such a system, but he would not immediately come in and be the type of playmaker he has been at Washington. As it stands now, this cornerback class is the deepest I have ever seen, and that could push Jones down past where he would be taken in any other draft. While I would not hate the Eagles deciding to take Jones in the first round, I could not help but think there are better values given his fit on this defense. Long-term, however, getting a player with his ability to create turnovers on a defense so bereft of cornerback talent would prove to be a massive improvement, regardless of fit.
Sidney Jones spider graph:
Remaining Eagles draft picks
1st - No. 14 - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
2nd - No. 43 - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
3rd - No. 99 (from Baltimore Ravens)
4th - No. 119
4th - No. 139 (from Cleveland Browns)
5th - No. 155
6th - No. 194
7th - No. 230
Eagles top remaining needs
2017 NFL Draft schedule
- Day 1: Round 1 – 10 minutes
- Day 2: Round 2 – 7 Minutes, Round 3 – 5 Minutes Per Pick
- Day 3: Rounds 4-6 – 5 Minutes Per Pick, Round 7 - 4 Minutes Per Pick
(Compensatory picks = 4 minutes)
Do you approve of the Eagles drafting Sidney Jones at No. 43?
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