Sidney Jones is one of several top prospects entering this year’s draft with medical concerns.
After all but confirming his status as a likely first-round pick at the combine, the former Washington cornerback suffered a torn Achilles during his pro day workout in March.
The immediate assumption was that the injury – which typically requires a lengthy recovery – would send Jones tumbling down draft boards. However, Baltimore Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn’t so sure.
Asked specifically about Jones at Baltimore’s pre-draft press conference Friday, DeCosta said he doubted the injury would end up having a significant impact on Jones’ draft stock.
“There have been players that have gone very high in the first round with injuries like that,” DeCosta said, according to the Ravens’ official website. “Sometimes they fall a little bit, but (Jones) is a really good player, and I don’t think it is going to affect him that much.”
Jones has expressed confidence that, despite the significant injury, he’ll still be able to play as a rookie. Whether that ends up being the case or not, teams could certainly still see the value in using an early pick on a player of his caliber.
And while medicals are a key factor in formulating prospect evaluations, DeCosta also stressed that teams have plenty of experience dealing with certain types of injuries, and shouldn’t be deterred from selecting a premium talent.
“It seems to be a little bit more epidemic this year,” he said. “It factors in at times, but again, if the injuries are predictable and we have a good feeling that the kid is going to come back at some point, and we have had players that had this type of injury, then it is OK.”
Along with Jones, the long list of highly touted prospects coming off various surgeries includes safety Malik Hooker, pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley, and wide receivers Corey Davis and John Ross.
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