2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Sidney Jones
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 181
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Jones is part of a Washington secondary that has all kinds of NFL talent. A three-year starter, he has won numerous awards throughout his career in the Pac 12 and at the national level, and will likely be a factor in a first round that should include plenty of cornerbacks. He has not yet put his name in the 2017 NFL Draft but if he does, it will add another element to the debate of who should be selected first at the position. Jones is one of at least a handful of names in that debate, and like all of them, there are certain areas in his game that make him unique from others.
Let's start with what makes him special. Washington likes to move safety Budda Baker around in their defense. Because of that, there are a lot of scenarios where there is only a single-high safety, and Jones doesn't have help deep to his side. That results in Jones having to play in off-coverage more than most corners in this class. It takes a lot of confidence in your feet and route-recognition to be able to play in these situations which are exactly where Jones excels. He reads receivers' hips as well as anyone, and he breaks quickly on the route. That style of play could lead to him getting beaten on double-moves in the NFL but he also displays a keen understanding of when he can afford to be aggressive and not. He displays the quick-twitch athleticism when playing off to get across the receiver's face on slant routes which is extremely difficult to do. He also has the speed to recover if a receiver does fool him with a double-move.
He has long arms and ideal height for the position, which makes him more than adequate when making a play on the ball. When in position, he usually get his head around and makes it difficult for the receiver to get his hands on the pass. The one area he can improve in this area, and in press coverage, is with his strength. He has to get stronger if he is going to disrupt bigger receivers in their routes. Without it, he can't keep receivers from getting to full speed, and while that may not be an issue in the Pac 12, it will leave him at a disadvantage at the next level. The lack of strength is not the only issue I see from him in press coverage. His hips appear to be a bit on the stiff side, and I don't see him being able to flip them and get to full speed quickly when facing speedier receivers.
As a tackler, he is aggressive when absolutely necessary. He isn't exactly a regular presence coming up against the run, but when it is his responsibility, he performs admirably. The added bulk will certainly help in this area as well. He displays soft hands and does a good job of attacking the ball in the air. His 9 career interceptions and 30 passes defensed are proof that he puts himself in position to get his hands on plenty of passes. As I mentioned earlier, he is a smart player, and understand his coverages and responsibilities well. He knows where he has help, and what his responsibilities are. He communicates well with his teammates and passes off receivers when they leave his zone and recognizes those entering it quickly.
Overall, he fits best is in a system that runs a lot of single-high coverage. Systems like the one in Seattle are particularly reliant on cover 3 and cover 1 with only the free safety deep. In those systems, I can make a case that he is the best fit in this class. It takes not only comfort in playing away from the line of scrimmage but the mental capacity to play within the system. Jones receives high grades in both those areas. He has outstanding character and works hard both on and off the field. I also relish the fact that he doesn't get caught up in mind games with receivers who are always in his ear. He goes about his business with a professional attitude.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Jonathan Joseph (Houston Texans)
- Ideal footwork and speed for the position
- Smart player with high football-IQ and route-recognition
- Long arms and exceptional ball skills
- Excels in off-coverage
- High character
- Slender build/needs to be more physical in press and during route
- A little tight in his hips
- Not always in attack mode against the run
1)   Apple Cup features a pair of 1st-round talents in Sidney Jones, John Ross   - Draftwire.com |
2)   Husky CB Sidney Jones finally challenged, and responds   - Seattle Times |
3)   Washington DB says people dislike Alabama
- Montgomery Advertiser |
4)   Sidney Jones Twitter|
5)   Sidney Jones Instagram|