The first corner taken in the 2015 NFL Draft (number 5 overall), Jalen Ramsey physical measurements is what made him a top prospect throughout the country. At 6’1 and weighing 209lbs, Jalen wowed potential NFL teams at the NFL Combine when he posted sub 4.4 speed during his 40 yard dash testing. In the draft, many experts had him going to the Dallas Cowboys at #4. But when they passed on him and took Ezekiel Elliott, Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him one spot over, believing they had drafted the premiere player in the entire draft.
Jalen did not disappoint in his rookie campaign. He went up against top NFL receivers like Ashon Jeffries, Deshaun Hopkins (twice), Tyreek Hill and more. In those matchups against the opposing teams’ top receiver, he flourished. In fact, he actually garnered some notoriety for defensive rookie of the year. Although the Jaguars finished at an abysmal 3-13, Ramsey’s performance gave the organization hope for the future. Boy, did they turn things around in a hurry.
During the offseason, the Jaguars boasted its roster with free agents AJ Bouye, Barry Church and Calias Campbell. They also drafted running back sensation Leonard Fournette to be the work horse of the offense while creating a defense that wreck havoc on opposing offenses. The addition of AJ Bouye turned out to be gold. Entering the NFL as unsigned free agent, Bouye is considered a self-made man; meaning he work his way into free agency lucrative contract. Some experts believe that his signing with the Jaguars was an opportunity to continue to showcase Jalen Ramsey. The thought process is that both Bouye and Ramsey are shutdown corners which will limit opposing teams offense in the passing game. For the 2017 season, the Jaguars leadership was right.
Ramsey’s sophomore year was exceptional. He made game changing interceptions in both the games vs Baltimore and Pittsburgh while help anchoring the Jacksonville Jaguars to a top 3 defensive and number one team pass defense. His play and tenacity locked down almost every wide receiver he face (except for Antonio Brown which is arguably the best wide receiver in the league). Ramsey ended the regular season with 5 interceptions (including a game winning interception in the playoffs against the Buffalo Bills), 17 pass defense and 52 tackles. His play landed him in the Pro Bowl and NFL coveted All Pro First Team. There was some consideration of him being Defensive Player of the Year (that award went to his teammate Calias Campbell).
His performance is one of the reason why Jacksonville was playing in the AFC Championship versus the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
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