[#FilmWithFive] Prospect Preview: CB Sidney Jones

Last summer, I previewed a small handful of cornerbacks heading into the 2016 college football season. Check out who snagged the cover spot:

While my opinion (dramatically) changed on Desmond King, for the most part, my stance on many of these CB’s remains largely the same. Sidney Jones is a player whom I’ve held in high regard throughout the process (blessed him with that Nnamdi comparison early on). With over 25 passes defended and 9 interceptions to his name during his three year career at the University of Washington, he fills up the box score (if that’s your thing) in addition to flashing on cut-ups.

As I plan on breaking down a few of my favorite cornerbacks in this class, this tweet (or checklist, rather) will follow me everywhere I go. My dude Diante outlined it perfectly:

While you could argue that Jones leaves a box or two unchecked – or rather, simply left room for improvement – his game shines through in a majority of these areas. I’m going to highlight a few in particular, and show you why Sidney Jones makes complete sense at 24 overall.


Arguably the most important trait for a defensive back. Sidney Jones is a playmaker who’s game is largely predicated on his ability to read and react.

In the first clip, Jones nearly gets sucked in the slot, but the quick feet (and those aforementioned instincts) have him jumping right in front of an ill-advised throw. The result is favorable for Washington.

Similar play here. Jones gets the jump and the contact leads to a pass breakup. For a player his size (more on that later), he certainly manages to get all his weight behind his pads.

One of my favorite plays from Jones, as he’s protecting the red zone. Quickly diagnosing and managing to get his arm in at just the right time for the deflection:

More pain, via Slender Jones:


Going back to his size, which will certainly be the “knock” on Sidney Jones as we move toward the draft. At 6-foot, or so, and coming in at around 178-180, he certainly has room to add to that frame. Despite the size, his ability to hit and tackle (coming down hill vs. the run) is notable. He’s vicious and chippy off the line, and isn’t afraid of mixing things up in run support.

Some open field work:

Here’s that strength; working off blocks, and finishing:

Little lumber here, and the crown on the ball.

This is Jones squaring up and shutting down Kalen Ballage, who’s all of 6’2″, 230-something:

Another big runner in Oregon’s Royce Freeman, also carrying 230 pounds to his name:

What’s most impressive about that stop on Freeman, aside from the blow he delivers at the end, is the closing speed. I’m not sure many view Jones as a “burner”, at least not pre-Combine. What we can all agree on, however, is just how smooth of an athlete he is; simply gliding around, getting to where he needs to go in an effective manner. There’s no wasted steps with Jones, all tying back to the combination of feet/quickness/understanding (intelligence).

While the above clips paint the picture, adding to his build is a must. I’m thinking somewhere around 185-190, in order to hit that Pro Bowl potential. More physical, aggressive wideouts have given Jones issues in the past. Not that he’s necessarily bullied or out-muscled, but he clearly has a harder time gaining that leverage. I imagine he wants to burn the tape vs. JuJu:

Confidence + Ball Skills

I note the “confidence” as I think that summarizes Jones’s game pretty nicely. Again, he’s not the biggest corner, but you wouldn’t know that after he throws on the pads. That confidence carries over to other areas…

Big pass defense on the deep shot:

I’m sure this’ll be the play that many come back to you when you’re labeling Jones as a “ball hawk”. He’s in the receiver’s pocket the entire time, eyes on the quarterback that immediately lock on and track the rock. No problem adjusting to the ball, which he plays it like he’s the wideout – hands and all. Just a really good play.

What’s the fit like for the Raiders? Honestly, you can mock four or five different cornerbacks to Oakland in the first round and I’d be able to make a case for each one of them. Jones just stands out, even with the current play-weight raising some flags. He’s a gambler, but when you’re as smart and as technically-sound as Sidney Jones, you can keep rolling the dice.

I’ll leave you with some words that Mr. Lance Zierlein was able to gather from a regional scout (#AnonymousScout season, as we know):

“I think he picked up all of (Marcus) Peters’ good traits as a player without the personality defects. He marries that great FBI (football intelligence) with an explosive close-out and that will win in the pros just like it wins in college. You will always wish he was 198 pounds, but he won’t be.” — NFC East regional scout

It’s time to jump on one of these Washington cornerbacks, my pals.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive