Sidney Jones – NFL Draft 2017 Prospect Profile
6’0, 180 lbs.
2015 Second-Team Academic All-Pac-12
2015 First-Team All-Pac-12
2015 CoSIDA District VIII Academic All-America
2016 First-Team All-Pac-12
2016 Second-Team All-America (Sports Illustrated, Football Writers)
Stats: 13 Games-started 12 games as a true Freshman, 61 Total Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Sack, 2 Interceptions- 0 Touchdowns, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Forced Fumble
Stats: 13 Games-started all 13 games as a true Sophomore, 45 Total Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 0 Sacks, 4 Interceptions- 1 Touchdown, 10 Pass Deflections, 3 Forced Fumbles
Games Watched: 7 Games (2015-2016) via Draft Breakdown
Film Notes (Play by Play Breakdown)
Jones had an interception by anticipating the throw and made a great play on the ball. On that play, his man motions to the right side of the field but since the defense was playing zone, he stayed put and read the quarterback (Cody Kessler) to where he was going to throw the ball on the screen pass play and jumped the route in front of the intended receiver. Jones also had a couple good one on one tackles against the ball carrier, either using his speed or shedding his blockers for tackles and is very patient in run support. Had a forced fumble on a JuJu Smith-Schuster where he made a one on one tackle against the ball carrier, shows he’s a great hitter and knows where to hit to pop the ball loose. On one play, Kessler throws the deep ball and has great coverage on JuJu and Jones uses the sideline and boxes him out and had safety help on that play on double coverage. Jones was beaten by Smith-Schuster on a comeback route and he then gets the ball and streaks inside, catching Jones off guard initially and whiffs tackle but recovers and tackle him from behind. Against other wide receivers, his coverage was great and didn’t see him giving up any catches. Other than that, had great coverage on the opposing receivers on multiple plays in man and zone coverage.
This was one of Jones’ best games in 2015. Jones allowed a completion against Thomas Sperbeck (WR) on a comeback route. Noticed on some plays like screens or runs to the outside like the touchdown run by running back Jeremy McNichols especially, he didn’t shed his blockers and/or allowed them to get outside to make a play, was essentially out physically by the blocker and some plays he shed the blocker but whiffed on the tackle. Still made some good one on one tackles against the ball carrier. Showed really good effort on a tackle for loss on McNichols. On one play, the wide receiver was open for a completion but was incomplete after a good effort by Jones on the tackle and the ball was dropped as he did not have possession. Jones had great coverage on the wide receiver on a short curl route in the red zone in man coverage. On one play, the wide receiver had a step on Jones on a deep ball but the safety helped jones out in double coverage. On a run play, Jones was pushed back and couldn’t shed the blocker and make the tackle. Jones had a big hit and the ball carrier fumbled on a read option on a wildcat play and Jones hit the where the ball was but the ball, prior to the Jones hit, was popped out by another defender. Great tackle for loss on the receiver by Jones on a short route in zone coverage, came up and made a one on one tackle.
Jones is caught on pick play is blocked by another wide receiver, allowed a completion inside on a short slant route. Quarterback runs a play action and throws the deep ball, Jones has a great interception and return. On that play, Jones followed receiver step for step and overran him for the pick and pretty much ran his route for him. Jones highpoints the ball and the role positions are basically switched. I accounted for three times in a row where Jones was playing zone coverage and allowed too much space and allowed a couple short curl routes for completions, some of the plays were really similar and it seemed that the same play was run a couple times. Jones had a great one on one tackle in space on the ball carrier. Jones was beaten on a slant for a short completion. Jones had a nice pass deflection on an inside slant. Jones displayed great run support playing zone coverage and had a tackle for loss on the ball carrier.
Sidney Jones struggled in this game, primarily going against the wide receiver, Gabe Marks. Jones allowed a completion to Marks on an inside to outside route and put Jones out of position to make a play in tight man coverage. On a run play, Jones did not make the tackle but he contains the run to inside where there were other defenders there to make the tackle. Jones displays great press coverage and takes the receiver out of the play completely with his physicality then makes a decent effort on the tackle to another receiver. On a run play, Jones contains the run inside and makes the tackle on the ball carrier. The receiver falls down on a route but Jones makes a great read and almost picks it off. Marks was in front of Jones but drops a high pass. Jones gets caught on a screenplay and drops back to zone but then is blocked by a receiver. Jones is beat on a slant but stumbled on the initial get off. Jones bites the screenplay but shows great run support and makes a tackle for loss while being blocked by a receiver. On one play, Jones was communicating to defense and was caught off guard when the ball was snapped and allow the receiver to beat him but makes a play without looking for the ball. Jones used the sideline to box out the receiver and had his hands up to bat the ball down without turning his head for the ball. Jones made a great one on one tackle in zone coverage when the receiver caught a short ball, he bit on the quarterback read looking at the inside receiver so he allowed a short completion. Jones was then hurdled when making a one on one tackle one a dump off pass to the receiver by the quarterback. Jones made a great play and read the quarterback and broke up a pass on the inside man and came off his man on the outside. Jones then made another great read on the quarterback in a zone and essentially cover both receivers on his side and went in the middle of them, then jumped the curl route and made an interception and returned it for a touchdown. On that play, Jones pulled a fake, acting like he was covering the inside receiver but jumped the route when the quarterback threw it to the outside receiver because he thought he was open. Jones displayed great man to man coverage on a sack play by the Washington defense, pretty much mirrored the receiver. Jones beat once on a deep play to the sideline but he was not burned by the receiver, Jones looked like he lost balance on the jump ball and could not pry it out of Mark’s hands. Jones tried to use the sideline to box him out but the receiver won the contested jump ball and stayed in bounds. Jones was beaten by Marks inside in zone coverage but Marks dropped the ball. Out of the four games, I watched of Sidney Jones in 2015, Gabe Marks gave Sidney Jones the most trouble in his sophomore year as a starting boundary corner but still was only beat deep once in four games.[Sean2]
Stats: 14 Games-started all 14 games as a true junior, 39 Total Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 0 Sacks, 2 Interceptions- 0 Touchdowns, 6 Pass Deflections, 2 Forced Fumbles
Film Notes (Play by Play Breakdown)
This was Sidney Jones’ best game in 2015 and 2016 as a starting cornerback in Washington. On a run play that had a two receiver set on the outside that looked like a screen pass, Jones in zone coverage came up and stuffed the running back. Jones let his receiver catch a short inside pass in zone coverage but finished off with a good tackle with the other defender. The rest of the plays in the first quarter, the receiver did not get any more targets, followed up by great man but mostly zone coverage by Jones. I recall maybe one or two plays, one in man and one in a zone where I thought the receiver was open or had a step on Jones but the ball was not thrown to the receiver. I think this game, I really notice how fluid Jones’s hips are when he mirrors receivers, also his footwork is superb in man coverage especially. In the second quarter, I accounted for two times the receiver had a step ahead of Jones; one in a zone and one in man and the one in the zone was completed. Jones had good initial coverage but bit into the fake and the short pass was caught by the receiver. In the third quarter, I accounted once where Jones was in zone coverage and the receiver had room to catch a pass but the quarterback did not throw the pass to that receiver. The rest of the plays I saw great coverage all around by Jones on the receivers but left the 3rd quarter with an ankle or leg injury and did not return. The injury was short term and just left him out the rest of the game and did not look like it affected Jones in the other games. This game might be the best game I have seen in 2015 and 2016 in his sophomore and junior year at Washington and coverage wise it was the best I have seen on film of him even if Jones did not finish the game with a leg or ankle injury.
This might be Sidney Jones’ worst game in 2015 and 2016 as a starting cornerback at Washington against the wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. First two plays have Jones against Smith-Schuster in press man coverage, the first play Jones pressed Smith-Schuster well but looked like the receiver had some strides ahead of Jones. The second play, Jones is playing regular man and Smith-Schuster uses his hands and accelerates off of Jones on an intermediate inside route. Jones had the better of Smith-Schuster on an inside route in man coverage but the pass was not thrown to the receiver. Jones then does a great job on a run play, which he anticipated while on his man, and got off coverage and blitzed the ball carrier for a tackle for loss. Smith-Schuster then pushes off Jones, within 5 yards for legal contact, and drops a pass on an inside route but Jones had relatively better coverage on the receiver. In man coverage, Smith-Schuster catches another intermediate pass on a streak as the “Y” receiver. Jones redeems himself with great coverage on a curl route by Smith-Schuster. On a quarterback run play by Sam Darnold (QB), Smith-Schuster again out muscles Jones and pushes him, leaving him a little out of balance in zone coverage. Jones had a missed tackle in the backfield on the running back screen play. Jones lost Smith-Schuster on a pick play that had the receiver run a shallow slant route and he had Jones beat but it was not thrown to him. On a run play, Jones read the wrong gap and took a bad angle at the ball carrier. Between both USC games against Smith-Schuster mostly, the better game Jones had was definitely 2015. This game challenged Jones and might be his worst performance out of these 7 games, he was outmatched by Smith-Schuster but had a few redeeming plays but not as much as he does in other games.
On a run play, Jones shed the receiver that was blocking him and made the tackle on the ball carrier. Jones had great coverage on a delayed inside curl by the “Y” receiver and the quarterback was sacked on the play. Jones beat in zone coverage on an intermediate curl route on the inside by the receiver, Fields Jr. (WR). On a deep pass, Jones portrayed great man coverage and boxed the receiver to the sideline where the pass was incomplete to Fields Jr. On an inside post/ pick play by Fields Jr., Jones is beat in zone coverage but the quarterback is pressured out of the pocket and throws it away. Really great tackling and football IQ displayed by Jones on a trick play where the receiver catches the screen and tries to throw it deep but decides to run it and is stopped by Jones one on one and also forces a fumble out of bounds. I accounted for two more times Jones is beat on an intermediate inside route but the ball is not passed to that receiver and Jones catches up with his acceleration, showing makeup speed on both plays. Jones then is not fooled on a double stunt inside to outside by the receiver and forces the quarterback runnings towards that side to throw it out of bounds. Jones is then beat by Fields Jr. on an inside-outside play and if the quarterback had the chance to throw it to the receiver, it would be a big play because Jones was a step behind him with no safety help deep. Jones, on that play, bit the double stunt inside to outside route that was similar to the previous route Fields Jr. ran that he was not fooled by in the last play.
Excellent hip transition and good backpedal in coverage
Quick feet/ fluid footwork and acceleration/ makeup speed
Very solid at tackling and is aggressive at it, especially one on one and on corner blitzes, excellent in run support
Solid ball skills and high pointing the ball
Frequently is looking at the quarterback and great at diagnosing the play by the reading the quarterback to make a play (awareness)
Knows where to hit to force a fumble and can keep up with most receivers without too much usage of hands
Ability to mirror some wide receivers with his exquisite coverage ability (especially man coverage but also in press and zone), is rarely beat deep, a technician in coverage
Decent height (6’0 ft.)
Uses the sideline to his advantage and boxes out receivers on outside pass plays
Smart, tough football player and is usually not fooled on trick plays
The routes he does get beat on the most is inside routes, mostly intermediate
Has the most trouble covering physical receivers, especially in press coverage where he does not have the best jam against bigger pass catchers
Does not have the best frame, should bulk up some at the next level
Could improve in zone coverage, especially on inside routes
Sometimes isn’t the most willing tackler against bigger guys
Had talent behind him at Washington
Conclusion- Sidney Jones out of Washington is one of the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class as the talent in the secondary group might be one of the best the league has seen in recent years. Jones has been the starting boundary cornerback for three years, ever since he was a true freshman and has been an excellent cornerback prospect for any team that needs to upgrade at that position in the first round. He was a leader on the Washington defense that was consistently good in 2015 and 2016 with a lot of talent around him but he was easily the best talent on that defense. While he does have some cons and some consistent flaws, naturally should bulk up his frame at the next level. When he goes to an NFL team, most of the technical stuff that he has trouble with he can be coached on. His worst games, in my opinion, were the USC games from 2015 to 2016 and the Washington State game in 2015 where he faced great receiver prospects coming out in this year’s draft like Juju Smith-Schuster out of USC and Gabe Marks out of Washington State. I notice that Jones tends to struggle a bit with bigger receivers and especially in press coverage because his jam is not as physical as one would think. Especially from these receivers I mentioned, the inside routes ran by these guys really challenge Jones and his coverage ability. But with good coaching, these things can be cleaned up and can allow him to maximize his potential in the NFL. One thing is for sure; Jones rarely is beat deep and is an excellent user of the sideline to lock down receivers. The upside with Jones is very high and could follow the footsteps of his fellow cornerbacks from Washington from previous years; Marcus Peters from the Chiefs and Desmond Trufant from the Falcons. I noticed that he was not targeted as much as the other corners and lead a Washington defense that was one of the top defenses in the nation. Jones has top tier coverage ability and has great footwork and speed to match. He frequently looks at the quarterback to make a play on the ball with his great ball skills and can read the play with his high football acumen and awareness. And finally, his run support and hitting style that forces a lot of fumbles shows the valuable he can bring in any scheme and can improve most defenses with his superb tackling ability as a cornerback. Although he is good at tackling, Jones is not the most willing to tackle against bigger players but still shows aggression when he is near the ball. His best game, in my opinion, was the Oregon game in 2016, where I saw only a few instances where the receiver had space to catch the ball and few opportunities actual came to fruition. I thought in that game specifically, it highlighted his mirroring ability to oppose receivers with his fluid hip transitions and quick footwork to cover receivers, as well as any other cornerback in this corner class, can. Even at some points in games, Jones almost ran the route better the receiver did and Jones does it at a pretty consistent level. Other than the games mentioned, Jones had solid play in those games that I was impressed with. Jones is not my favorite cornerback in a deep cornerback class but in a year or two, he could make me eat my words. With his floor being above average and his potential to be very intriguing as a boundary corner at the next level, a team passing on him that needs a cover corner might surely regret it.
Range- Round 1 (Rd.1- Pick: 5-32)
Player Comparison: A.J. Bouye- If Jones bulks up 5-10 pounds; his frame, height, and weight scream A.J. Bouye from the Houston Texans that was an amazing cornerback that was undrafted in 2013 out of South Florida. In 2016, he was part of the #1 Texans defense and will get paid by the Texans or another team in free agency in the offseason. From Week 1-8, Bouye was named the best-graded cornerback by PFF (Pro Football Focus). PFF and NFL.com also listed him as #7 and #8 among the best-rated cornerbacks in the NFL in 2016. While he only has 1 interception in 2016, he ended up with 16 pass deflections. He was also a good tackler for his size, similar to Sidney Jones. At the end of the day, I can see Sidney Jones impact a football team like Bouye did in 2016 and be a starter for a cornerback desperate team day 1.