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April 29, 2017

2017 NFL Draft: What they’re saying about the Eagles drafting a couple of cornerbacks

Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia is in the books and the Eagles attacked their biggest need by drafting a couple of cornerbacks in the second and third rounds: Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. That first pick won’t come without some controversy though, as Jones suffered a pretty serious injury during the pre-draft process. Just trust the process, y’all.

To the takes!

Local #Takes

Jones looks like a good pick, once healthy: Les Bowen, Philadelphia Daily News

Fans who focused on the potential value were excited. Fans hungry for 2017 results, or wary from other serious sports injury misadventures they've witnessed, were not. Jones is unlikely to play before midseason, a medical source said, and even that is a less-than-ironclad projection. Both Jones and Eagles de facto general manager Howie Roseman emphasized that there is no timetable.

The Eagles say they can afford to wait for Jones to heal: Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer

But Roseman has a luxury he didn't have during his first five years as general manager and before he was exiled from the personnel department for a year. He can take the long view, as much as NFL teams can nowadays, because he has a young quarterback in Carson Wentz and seemingly a clean slate after owner Jeffrey Lurie returned him to power last year.

Eagles Go CB Again – Rasul Douglas: Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz

I do love the fact the Eagles are building the secondary. They took Sidney Jones in the 2nd and Douglas in the 3rd. They are not relying on one player. The Eagles might not be done yet. They could take another CB or a S on Day 3. You build a unit by bringing in depth and trying to create competition. The defense got better today. I can’t promise either of these guys will start this year, but they will come in and compete. Douglas will do that right away. Jones will when he gets healthy.

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice

1.    CORNERS! That would be Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, to be specific. Can’t say that the Eagles didn’t attack their biggest need on Day 2.

2.    SCOUTING REPORT: Check out the strengths, weaknesses, and highlights for Jones and Douglas. Both guys are big, and as we say in “the biz,” they do pretty good YouTube.

3.    DREW PEARSON: This was great. Boooooooooooooooooooo

4.    DELETED TWEETS: After ripping Tony Romo a few years ago, Sidney Jones is going to fit in just fine in Philly. And here is how Eagles Twitter reacted to the somewhat controversial pick.

5.    LOOKING BACK: Did you see what the Chicago Bears gave up for Mitch Trubisky? What the Chiefs gave up for Patrick Mahomes? When you factor in the Sam Bradford trade, Howie Roseman’s bold move to get Carson Wentz last year is looking better and better.

6.    DEREK BARNETT: The Eagles first-round pick met with the media on Friday and discussed which pass rushers he models his game after.

7.    NFC EAST DRAFT GRADES: Hits and misses on day two. 

National #Takes and Grades

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco gave the Jones pick a B and the Douglas pick another B:

There is risk coming off the torn Achilles tendon, but he could be a steal if it works out. And it is a big-time need.’s Chad Reuter graded the Eagles draft so far at an A-, which might be average considering how high all of his other grades are:

In the second round, Philly got a first-round value in Sidney Jones, who might have to half-redshirt the year as he recovers from injury but will be a good corner down the road. Rasul Douglas is another long corner who will be on the field right away. The team hasn't helped its offense yet, however -- they have to do so early on Saturday.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke gave both of the Eagles second-day picks high grades:

Sidney Jones’s Achilles injury would have made him a significant gamble in the first round. In Round 2, though, he’s a value pick. He was considered to be a potential top-10 pick before that setback at his pro day. He’s a tall, physical cornerback who can lock down on the outside. When he gets healthy again, the Eagles could have a star.

With the short term in mind, Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier didn’t give the Birds quite the same high marks:

I like the Douglas-Sidney Jones 1-2 punch for the Eagles at a position of need. But there is a chance that neither player will be ready to make much of an impact, even by the middle of the 2017 season. That won't sit well with the ever-impatient Philly fans.

On ESPN Insider, Matt Bowen writes that Sidney Jones had the best down-the-field technique of all the defensive backs in the draft:

Defensive backs coaches always stress the ability to finish at the point of attack (on the hip of the receiver). That's how you find the ball and get it out. Drive to the upfield shoulder, play the pocket and win the matchup. And based on the tape I watch, Jones is at the top of the list. He's an aggressive, ultra-competitive corner who can play multiple techniques and challenge receivers all over the field.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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