Sidney Jones likely would have been a first-round selection had the Washington cornerback not blown his Achilles tendon during his pro day in March.
The Philadelphia Eagles snapped up Jones with the No. 43 pick, even if the he won't be ready to open the season. With an immediate need at corner Philly general manager Howie Roseman played the long-view by selecting the 6-foot defensive back.
"The draft is about the long-term interest of your football team, and if you go into it saying, 'Hey, we have this open spot on our depth chart. We got to fill it right now,' we're going to miss opportunities to get the best player," Roseman said Friday, via the Philly Daily News. "For us, whatever the timetable is for Sidney, when he gets back and he's 100 percent, he makes a difference."
Coach Doug Pederson echoed the notion that the Eagles won't rush Jones into the lineup.
"We just got us a first-round talent at corner," Pederson said. "He's somebody, as Howie alluded to, we're not going to rush into with anything with him, and we're going to make sure that he's 100 percent before we put him out on that football field."
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Jones is expected to start the season on the non-football injury list (NFI) and could be back by October.
If he returns healthy, the Eagles will gladly wait a month into the season for a first-round talent like Jones.
The truth with all injured players who are drafted is we don't know how they'll bounce back. Plenty of players never return to their pre-injury form. The Eagles are confident that won't be the case with Jones, even if it takes a year to fully recover. If Roseman is right, the Eagles swiped a potential steal in the second round.
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