Washington cornerback Sidney Jones is one of the top players at the position in this draft class. Ever since Jones first stepped onto Washington’s campus he was a major contributor for the Huskies’ defense.
Competitiveness is one of Sidney Jones’ strongest traits. He doesn’t often give up easy catches; he makes receivers work. Also he has good height at 6’0” and has length to go with it. This helps him jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Jones is capable in every type of coverage. He is probably best in press man-to-man coverage however. In press man coverage he can use his long arms to jam the receiver and use his athleticism and instincts to run with the receiver on his route. Reading quarterback and anticipating routes are traits that make him good in zone coverage.
Receivers rarely out-run Jones, he has enough speed to turn and run if he gets beat. Fluid hips and good footwork make getting free of him difficult for opponents.
Another thing that the Washington standout has going for him are ball skills. He had nine interceptions in his career. When he sees an opportunity to create a turnover he usually takes advantage of it.
As a tackler Jones isn’t a hard-hitter but he is somewhat reliable. He improved this area of his game in 2016.
The biggest knock on Sidney Jones is his thin frame. He only weighs 181 pounds. While he is physical enough to compete with most receivers he has a hard time against bigger ones. For example, take USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster. There were a couple plays in USC’s upset win over Washington where Smith-Schuster was able to push Jones at the line-of-scrimmage and take him out of the play.
His relatively light build never led to any injury problems in his college career. He played in all 40 of Washington’s game during his three-year career and started 39 of them.
The Lions need help at cornerback. Nevin Lawson had an up-and-down year playing opposite of Darius Slay in 2016. And when Slay missed time because of an injury the Lions lack of depth at the position was exposed. Adding a young talent such as Sidney Jones to the roster would really help the team moving forward.
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