Sidney Jones had a feeling he would become an Eagle this weekend. He read it in a letter.
The Washington corner was once thought to be a first-round pick; the Eagles were even considering him with their 14th pick (see story).
But at his school's pro day March 11, Jones suffered a devastating Achilles tear that dropped him out of the first round and right to the Eagles in the second round. They took him with the 43rd pick Friday night.
Jones thought there was a good chance he'd land in Philly because of a handwritten letter he received after his injury from Eagles senior director of college scouting Anthony Patch, who was in attendance at the pro day when Jones suffered the injury on one of the last drills.
"I thought it was pretty awesome," Jones said about the letter on a conference call with Philly reporters less than an hour after the pick. "Just from there, I knew they still had interest. … I had a feeling deep down. My agents were telling me stuff and I just had a feeling it would be Philly."
Jones, 20, said he received a few text messages from other teams, "but nothing like a handwritten letter."
Howie Roseman said the Eagles expect Jones to make a full recovery, but wouldn't give a timeline for his recovery.
"It's just a roadblock," Jones said. "It's going to be a good story at the end of my career. I'll look back at it as a positive. That's just how I'm viewing everything."
The Eagles are unsure if Jones will be able to play this season and despite tweeting that doctors told him he'd be ready for the 2017 season, Jones on Friday night said his plan lines up with that of the organization.
Even though he'd obviously like to play this season, he won't put himself in a situation that could lead to further injury.
"When do I expect to be back?" Jones said. "The plan is to not rush back at all. We're going to take it slowly … we're not going to rush anything. Of course, I would like to play as soon as possible, but there's no rushing."
Jones said it was an indescribable feeling when he got a call on his cell phone from a Philadelphia area code. As the Eagles' coaching staff passed around the phone at the NovaCare Complex, Jones talked to all of them as tears welled up in his eyes.
Throughout the entire process, Jones has been incredibly positive, at least in public. He credited his family for being his support system.
On Friday night, he chose to look at the positives: he still got drafted and he's still going to a team that really wants him.
After the injury, did he ever doubt his future?
"I don't think there was a moment of doubt at all," Jones said. "I'm being honest with that. I've seen players come back from injury. … I've never had surgery, so this is like my first big injury. So, just looking forward to battling this and getting back and getting on the field."