Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones is having quite the offseason.
Two years, the Philadelphia Eagles made one of their more controversial draft picks in recent history. During the 2017 NFL Draft, Howie Roseman made a call to Washington to let Huskies’ cornerback Sidney Jones know he was going to be headed to Philly to join the Eagles. At the time, Jones was about a month removed from getting surgery on his ruptured Achilles.
Why in the world would the Eagles spend a second-round pick on a cornerback with that caliber of injury? It’s simple — it is all about the value. Pre-injury Sidney Jones was arguably the best cornerback in the draft that year. Many believe he was a lock to become a top-ten pick had he remained healthy. No thanks to his unfortunate pro day mishap, Jones was expected to pretty much become a redshirt rookie for his first year in the pros.
Being that the Eagles believed they had a win-now team (they did because they won the Super Bowl) the Eagles went and drafted Jones knowing he wouldn’t truly debut until 2018. In football, an Achilles injury is one of the worst types of injuries you could have. It takes a while for players to recover to being one-hundred percent truly, and other players don’t get back there at all.
In Jones’ case, we’re not sure which side he’s on. In 2018, Jones actually played relatively well in the nickel early on in the year, despite what many have said. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury made it hard for him to remain on the field. Eventually, Jones’ season would come to an end when it became clear he needed to let his hamstring heal.
Now, he needs to really step up in year three though, and prove to the Eagles that he is worth that second-round pick. While the season hasn’t begun yet, Jones is already proving his doubters wrong in training camp. And if you ask around 30 insiders on which player’s stock grew the most so far this offseason, the answer would be Sidney Jones.
According to the sources…
The Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski goes around The Nova Care Complex each offseason to ask other local reporters opinions on players they’ve watched. In an attempt to find out which player’s stock improved the most, Kempski came out with ten total votes in favor of Sidney Jones. Rookie running back Miles Sanders was a close second at seven votes.
Jones’ main concern is obviously his health — so far he’s been in one piece and available for practice every day. His second concern is, can he play on the outside or only in the nickel? Well, that remains to be seen. As Jim Schwartz likes his secondary to be versatile, most cornerbacks get opportunities to try both, inside and outside during camp.
Right now, Jones doesn’t have a permanent position, but soon he will find his place when the preseason rolls around. Regardless of where Jones plays, any progress is positive at this point. And so far, Jones seems to finally be on the right track to living up to his second-rounder value.