With the 5th Pick of the 2016 draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars take Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Florida State. The Jaguars pick up the drafts best corner and arguably the best positional player in this draft. At 6ft 1 he is very tall and he is very quick with a track background from his college days. He started as a true freshman so will be ready to start from day 1. Jacksonville are building on defence and already have some pieces in place, now they have added another player who can be a cornerstone for years. The Jaguars have been able to fill a need with the best player available and he will excite a fan base and galvanise a defence with his relentless motor and will to compete.
Blessed with both size, and the versatility to play either at safety or corner, the Seminoles defensive back ticks a lot of boxes for any NFL defensive scheme. The first freshman to start at cornerback for FSU since Deion Sanders, Ramsey was an instant star, and finishing his first season as the defensive MVP in the team’s national championship win over Auburn. As a sophomore, Ramsey played as a roaming safety and big nickel, before reverting back to corner this past season after the departures of P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby to the NFL. The junior has played at a very high level at both spots, combining his instincts and athleticism to be a big playmaker regardless of where he lines up. Far from completely mistake free, he has shown some deficiencies at both positions. While playing safety, he occasionally abandoned assignments on poor reads, losing the coverage and generally appearing lost in space once or twice a game. He seems to have a more natural football IQ for the corner spot, where he has a chance to grow into one of the elite players at the position at the next level. However, he has proved susceptible to beats on comeback routes, allowing easy separation frequently when his receiver works back toward his quarterback. The final question with Ramsey is that despite the good size and build, his functional strength is surprisingly lacking. One play of note that particularly stood out was from his 2014 film versus Miami, in which the very undersized Philip Dorsett comfortably blocked Ramsey out the way with ease to clear out a running lane that resulted in a touchdown for the Hurricanes. Overall though, Ramsey is an elite level prospect. On top of his versatility on the defence to play corner, safety, nickel, or even down in the box as an additional linebacker, he also excels on special teams coverage units and as an occasional kick returner. Despite teams deliberately keeping away from his side of the field where possible, the playmaking DB still managed to put up 22 pass break ups and 3 interceptions in the last two seasons.