2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Sidney Jones

Kansas City Chiefs draft target defensive back Sidney Jones. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft target defensive back Sidney Jones. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /

In today’s pass heavy NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs need to make sure they have a strong secondary to limit opposing air attacks. Washington’s Sidney Jones may bring exactly what the Chiefs need.

The Kansas City Chiefs secondary had an up and down season in 2017. Had it not been for the surprising emergence of Terrance Mitchell working opposite of Marcus Peters, it could have been a disaster. That should put the cornerback position into the spotlight for the Chiefs front office. Fortunately for KC, this is a very strong class which means a guy like Sidney Jones just might fall to them.

The Chiefs made the secondary a focus in the 2016 draft. Unfortunately, the guy expected to be the best of the group, Keivarae Russell, did not pan out. That left the team relying on the unreliable Phillip Gaines. Between injuries and poor performance, that was a nightmare. Fortunately, the team was able to stumble on Terrance Mitchell who shocked the world with his play.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Terrance Mitchell is not a truly reliable option. While he had a good 2017 season, the rest of his career has not been good. So relying on just a few games is not sound strategy. Furthermore, Mitchell is only under contract for one more year. That makes a top prospect option like Sidney Jones all the more appealing.

Sidney Jones – CB – Washington

When I first sat down to watch tape on Sidney Jones, he jumped off the screen right away. As it stands, I have him rated as the hands-down best pure cover corner in the draft. The first tape I watched on Jones forced me to rewind it a couple of times because I had a hard time distinguishing between him and teammate Marcus Peters.

There are some football players who make the game seem like it is going in slow-motion for them. I would say that describes Sidney Jones very well as he always seemed to be ready for whatever was coming. In the pass-happy Pac 12, you would expect a corner to have his share of bad tape. It was few and far between where I saw anything bad on Jones.

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Sidney Jones is a smooth athlete who shows no hesitation or struggle in changing direction or adjusting his body. He shows the ability to keep pace in both short-area and down-the-field situations. Both in man coverage and zone, Jones shows that he understands where he is at all times.

The Washington cornerback brings a tall, lanky, frame with long arms that increase his defense radius. He possesses strong ball skills and decent hands. On top of that, Sidney Jones does not lack for confidence and shows excellent anticipation to get himself in good position. He shows the ability to read both the receiver and the quarterback, a rare talent for a college player.

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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Sidney Jones though. I said earlier that I see him as the best pure cover corner in the draft. I stand by that, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t find some warts in other areas of his game. Most notably, Jones is very lean and lanky which presents a number of concerns.

I noticed several times that receivers were able to gain an advantage on Sidney Jones by being more physical than him. His light frame doesn’t give him much leverage against larger receivers. That frame also comes into play when having to make tackles. I can’t say that I would have much faith in Jones stopping a running back on the outside. However, I do believe this is an acceptable risk for someone with his talent.

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If Sidney Jones is on the board when the Kansas City Chiefs make their pick, I fully advocate going with him. The lack of size and strength is a concern, but one that can be addressed. However, there is no denying his ball and coverage skills. Lining Jones up across from Marcus Peters could give the Chiefs one of the best secondaries we have seen in a long time.