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2017 NFL mock draft: Sidney Jones to Indianapolis Colts

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The slide of the talented but injured Washington cornerback is over.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Colorado vs Washington Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is all about risk and reward, and sometimes the greater the risk the better the reward. In the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, Stephen Reed of Stampede Blue is back up for the Indianapolis Colts and hopes the risk will pay off.

46. Indianapolis Colts: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Reed: Realistically, this pick came down to how much and what kind of risk the Colts are willing to take with a second-round pick. They could go for an off-field risk and take OLB Tim Williams or RB Joe Mixon, both great values at this point in the draft at positions of need, or an injury risk in CB Sidney Jones. As Stampede Blue writer Matt Danely pointed out in his article, Four Draft Prospects Who Won't be on the Colts Board, it's unlikely either Williams or Mixon are selected by the Colts. I doubt Chris Ballard risks taking Williams after multiple failed drug tests at Alabama. I doubt Ballard risks the PR backlash of taking Mixon.

The Sidney Jones situation is different. As we all know, Jones tore his Achilles and requires at least another four to five months of rehab. However, he didn't have any injury concerns during his lengthy career at Washington. Additionally, an Achilles injury is not the career ender it once was. Players like Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith both came back from it and produced at a high level. In general, major injuries haven't deterred teams from taking high-quality players early.

As for Jones' ability, the tape speaks for itself. He consistently displayed the capability to be a lockdown, press-man corner. The perfect fit for Chuck Pagano's defense. Jones has natural coverage skills with great anticipation and field awareness. In the pass-happy Pac-12, teams simply avoided his side of the field. Prior to his injury, Jones was considered one of the top corners in this draft and likely a top-20 pick. If he returns even close to form, this is an absolute steal for Ballard and the Colts at another position of significant need. Given how players recover from this type of injury, I'll take my risk with the hard-working Jones over the off-field concerns of the other two.

Quick question for Dan, do you guys give out a "Mock Draft GM of the Year" award for this? If so, Stampede Blue might be the runaway winner. I kid, of course ... well, kind of. Ha! Thanks again and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of this mock and the actual draft.

Analysis: We’ve never given out a top mock GM award, but if I did it might be Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation, who got Reuben Foster and Marlon Humphrey for the Eagles. Reed would come in second for his picks of Jones and Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. The values are obviously good, but there are risks with both.

Taking Jones and Allen makes this a swing-for-the-fences draft for the Colts. These two picks truly represent boom or bust. If they boom, Allen is a top-five overall player and Jones plays as good or better than any cornerback in the draft this year. If it's a bust, Allen's shoulder issues are real and Jones is slow to recover from an Achilles tear. It’s quite a gamble to take two players with injury questions in the top two rounds.

If Jones can come back healthy, he’s exactly the type of cornerback the Colts need. He’s comfortable playing man and dropping into zone coverage, and he has good hands for the position.

Dan's top five players remaining

  • 26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
  • 37. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
  • 39. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
  • 41. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
  • 43. Dan Feeney, G, Indiana

Colts picks

  • 1-15: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
  • 2-46: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Coming up at noon ET Kyle Barber of Baltimore Beatdown is back to make the second-round pick for the Ravens.

Poll

What grade do you give the pick of Jones by the Colts?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    A
    (204 votes)
  • 36%
    B
    (233 votes)
  • 20%
    C
    (134 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (34 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (37 votes)
642 votes total Vote Now