Sidney Jones and his new team agree on this: No rush to play this season.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected the injured Washington cornerback in the second round of the NFL draft, a month after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon at his pro day.
Jones was considered a first-round pick before he got hurt.
“We’re going to take it slow,” Eagles personnel boss Howie Roseman said. “We’re just going to make sure we get 100 percent of Sidney going forward because this is an extremely talented guy at an important, hard-to-find position.”
Jones won’t be ready in September, so the Eagles took another cornerback in the third round because they need to replace departed starters Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll.
West Virginia’s Rasul Douglas was chosen No. 99 overall. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Douglas had eight interceptions last season.
They Eagles signed veteran Patrick Robinson in free agency and could use second-year pro Jalen Mills at the other spot while waiting on Jones.
“I’ll be back on the field when (the team) feels confident,” Jones said. “We’re not going to rush anything. Of course I would like to play as soon as possible, but there’s no rush.”
Jones had eight interceptions and 21 pass breakups in three seasons playing in a talented Huskies secondary that saw three players drafted. Cornerback Kevin King went No. 33 overall to the Packers and safety Budda Baker was the No. 36 pick overall by the Cardinals.
“He’s a difference maker at cornerback. That’s something we’ve been looking for,” Roseman said. “Great character, great player.”
The 6-foot, 186-pound Jones is considered a tough, physical cornerback with excellent ball skills. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Jones didn’t allow a passing touchdown in coverage last season.
“The thing that stands out: his length, his feet. Very smooth mover,” said Joe Douglas, the team’s vice president of player personnel.
However, it’s uncertain if Jones will lose a bit of his speed following surgery.
“Our doctors and training staff not only looked at corners, but we reached out to teams in other sports,” Roseman said. “That gave us a lot of confidence here.
“There’s no insurance for this, but we feel really confident that with our medical team when he gets here he’s going to be able to be the exact same player he was before the injury.”
The Eagles have focused on defense in the first two rounds after upgrading their offense in March by adding wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency.
Defensive end Derek Barnett was Philadelphia’s pick at No. 14 overall.
The Eagles may have been tempted to select running back Dalvin Cook at No. 43, but he went to Minnesota two picks earlier. They have two picks in the fourth round and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. They’re expected to look for a running back, offensive lineman and wide receiver.