ESPN lists Sidney Jones as Eagles biggest breakout candidate for 2018

Sidney Jones (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Sidney Jones (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

According to ESPN, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones will be the biggest breakout player in 2018.

Let the predictions begin as the 2018 NFL season is approaching. We are now through two weeks of the preseason, and the Eagles have a ton of work to do. Unfortunately, the defending Super Bowl champions have a hefty list of injuries as week one is creeping up on us. We’re not here to focus on the negative, though. Let’s discuss a recent article from ESPN that listed one potential breakout player for all 32 teams in the NFL.

For the Eagles, ESPN’s Tim McManus predicted that second-year cornerback Sidney Jones could have a big season. Yeah, not a very shocking prediction but we’ll take it. When the Eagles selected an injured Sidney Jones early on in the draft, they knew they were getting a top-ten talent with the 43rd pick. All they had to have was patience, and now we sit back and watch it pay off.

So far, Jones has displayed some significant upside. Not only is he a hard worker, but he also seems to have his limitless talent back in the defensive secondary. The only thing getting in the way of Jones’ breakout season is his never-ending injury problems. Can he play a full season without missing time? That remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure; he has shown some substantial upside in the preseason so far.

What does ESPN have to say?

"The second-round pick out of Washington missed all but one game of his rookie season as he recovered from a torn Achilles. Now back in action, he has flashed the athleticism and ability that made him one of the most coveted defensive backs in the 2016 NFL draft. The Eagles are experimenting with him in the slot. Wherever he ends up, they’re expecting big things out of Jones."

Whether he’s on the outside or covering the slot, Jones will be looked upon to do everything this season. It’s clear that the Eagles want to make sure that he gets a ton of work in the preseason, so he is prepared for what the regular season brings. During week two against the New England Patriots, Jim Schwartz kept Jones on the field deep into the third quarter.

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Jones racked up a total of eight tackles through two weeks, averaging for four tackles-a-game. He also tied Ronald Darby with two pass deflections, which led the defense this past Thursday night. Sure, he’s made some mistakes through the first half of the preseason, but he’s practically a rookie working out the kinks at the moment. By week one, Jones should be starting in the nickel full-time and will have his chance to have the breakout season that everyone is anticipating.