On Monday, the Seattle Seahawks shipped a sixth round selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars for former Washington Husky cornerback Sidney Jones. Jones, a player who was once flirting with a first round draft grade, has battled through a series of unfortunate injuries which started primarily with his torn Achilles at his pro day. And while it is true that Jones has yet to play an entire season in the NFL, he still has shown flashes of what once made him such a highly thought of prospect. Of course, he has also had plenty of plays where he looks more like a roster bubble player who could get traded in a moment’s notice for a late round pick. So without further ado, let’s take a look. Major credit to one of my favorite Seahawks writers, Michael-Shawn Dugar of the Athletic, for putting together a great series on twitter looking at Jones.
When he looks good, he looks good
*gets up to grab beer No. 2*— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 31, 2021
this is a good play against Marvin Jones pic.twitter.com/gelqvLTxHw
*sips beer*— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 31, 2021
This is a good play. pic.twitter.com/jYFDOHDgSG
In this first set of clips, Sidney Jones looks like the player the Eagles hoped he would become when they took a gamble on him in the second round of the NFL draft. While he doesn’t end up near the ball in the first play, his tight coverage on Keenan Allen keeps the short throw for first down out of the question. He does a good job staying in position so that he could make a tackle short of the sticks, while also not over-pursuing and using his body to take away any chance of Allen cutting back towards the sideline. In the second, he displays some physicality as he mixes it up with Marvin Jones and effectively knocks the pass away.
Now, ignore the first clip from the Green Bay Packers game (we’ll get to that later), but do look at the second one. This interception is a great example of where Jones demonstrates some next level instincts and undercuts the route perfectly. This is a bit of a gamble, but he expertly watches the QB’s eyes and makes an excellent play to snag the pick in a performance that looks borderline vintage Richard Sherman. Hopefully, this is the kind of presence Jones can bring to Seattle. But of course, you take the good with the bad... which leads us to our next section.
When he looks not so good he looks... not so good.
Again against Golladay, who is very good pic.twitter.com/AC13NDC7aJ— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 31, 2021
This was called back because of penalty. Manned up against Davante Adams in the slot is a tough ask tho pic.twitter.com/mrFEHsQQRu— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 31, 2021
In the first couple clips, we can see Sidney Jones matched up against former Detroit Lions and current New York Giants receiver Kenny Golladay. Golladay was selected 53 picks after Jones in the 2017 NFL draft, but in these clips (and many others), he looks like a player who would have gone 53 spots sooner. While the two have clearly had divergent careers, we can actually see Jones make a pretty good effort on both of these plays. In the first one, he sticks to Jones’s shoulder, but loses position on the inside throw from Stafford. Similarly, on the second clip from the same game, Jones overruns the route and looks for a moment like he thinks he has the pick, which sets up Marvin to use his vertical skills to highpoint the ball and make the big play.
In the second set of clips, Jones struggles a bit more. As you can see, Marquez Valdes-Scantling absolutely roasts him on the deep route and takes it in for six. Plays like this, where he looks Cary Williams-esque, are certainly not a recipe for finding a long-term home in a Pete Carroll defense. The matchup against Adams is a tough draw, for sure, but tough assignments are a reality of the pros and Jones will need to do a better job sticking with receivers if he wants to stick around in Seattle.
Sidney Jones is an exciting player, and John Schneider and Pete Carroll have done well to identify undervalued defensive backs who can be acquired via trade (Quandre Diggs, Justin Coleman) but they have also had some misses (Quinton Dunbar, who was exciting but didn’t materialize due to injuries in his singular Seattle season). Whether the former Husky will fall into the latter or the former remains to be seen, but hopefully a return to Washington will also usher in a return to form for the talented but oft-injured corner. And if nothing else, Jones will now get to join former teammate and current fan favorite Will Dissly, who was reportedly happy to hear tidings of the trade. And with that, I’ll leave you with one final reason to get excited about this move, courtesy of Aaron Levine.
If anyone forgot who Sidney Jones was… #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/EZcymcoC7r— Aaron Levine (@AaronQ13Fox) August 30, 2021