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June 19, 2017

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Sidney Jones

Eagles NFL

During the dead period of the NFL calendar, as we did in 2015 and in 2016, we'll be comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current or retired NFL players. We led it off on Sunday with the Eagles' first-round pick, Derek Barnett. Today, we'll find a player comp for Sidney Jones.

As noted previously, we'll also try not to recycle names that have been commonly comped to each player, like Brandon Graham or Terrell Suggs in the case of Barnett.

A common comp for Jones coming out of college was former Washington teammate and now Pro Bowl corner for the Kansas City Chiefs, Marcus Peters. In Jones' scouting report on, Mike Mayock was quoted saying just that:

"He reminds me of Marcus Peters, another Washington Husky. What I love about him is he's got instincts, he's got ball skills and he will tackle even though he's lean at 186."

So did's Lance Zierlein:

"Jones is a "casino cornerback" who has the ball skills and instincts to tilt the odds in his favor when quarterbacks look his way. His toughness and desire to make plays on the ball are remarkably similar to his friend and off-season workout buddy, Marcus Peters. Jones has lockdown corner talent but unfortunately, teams will have to wrestle with his draft positioning as there is no guarantee that Jones can come back with the same quickness and speed as before."

The player who he reminds me of, and we're going to go back a ways here, is Samari Rolle, who played for the Titans (who were actually still the Oilers in his rookie year) and Ravens. 

Rolle played at a very thin 6'0, 175. He played for four years under Jim Schwartz in Tennessee from 2000 to 2004, when he left in free agency to play for the Ravens, where current Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas was on staff in the scouting department.

Rolle was a ballhawk who excelled at getting his hands on the football. In his first five years as a starter in Tennessee, he had 22 interceptions, including earning first team All-Pro honors in 2000 when he had seven picks. In the first three seasons the NFL started tracking pass breakups (2001-2003), Rolle had 44 PBUs, an excellent number. He did so while often following the opposing team's best wide receiver, which is something the best corners in the league are no longer often asked to do.

Rolle, like Jones, was also unafraid to stick his nose in and make tackles from his corner spot despite his thin frame, and he exhibited toughness by playing through epilepsy.

If Jones can regain his form after recovering from his ruptured Achilles, Peters and Rolle would be high standards that he has the potential to match.

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