Former Washington Huskies standout Sidney Jones entered the 2017 NFL Draft process as a much-ballyhooed prospect to the point where he received legitimate buzz as a player that could be selected within the top half of the first round. However, the talented defensive back suffered a devastating Achilles injury during a workout at Washington’s Pro Day and, with that, his stock is very much in flux.
Chase Goodbread of NFL.com tried to put that change in position in context this week and, in speaking with Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, the picture isn’t pretty for Jones.
“I hate it for Sidney Jones. I think he was a lock to be a top-20 pick,” Jeremiah said. “Because of depth at the position and with the injury, I’d be surprised if he went before the third round.”
While there are obvious comparisons between Jones and former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylen Smith given his injury-related fall in 2016, Jeremiah isn’t so sure about that parallel for one specific reason.
“People can point to Jaylon Smith, but Smith had a higher grade and he played a different position where it’s easier to mask any dropoff in athleticism,” Jeremiah said.
Obviously, cornerback is among the worst positions on the field to be fighting a legitimate injury, simply because raw speed and agility are so important. It should be noted that not everyone agrees with Jeremiah’s assessment and it is at least possible that Jones is able to rebound by finding one team in love with his skill set. At the same time, this ailment couldn’t come at a worse time for the former Huskies star and it will be interesting to see just how far he falls in late April.