In the weeks and months leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, PhiladelphiaEagles.com is going to introduce you to the some of this year’s top candidates through a series called Meet the Prospect. Today, we’ll take a look at a player considered by some to be the top defensive player in this year’s class, Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey, a cornerback-turned-safety-turned-cornerback with the Seminoles, earned consensus All-America honors as a junior in 2015 after finishing the year with 52 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and nine defended passes while allowing a completion rate of just 38.5 percent. For the most part, teams simply chose to not throw to his side of the field last season, which explains the fact that he finished the year without a single interception.
One season prior, the 6-1 Ramsey had played the bulk of his snaps at the spur position, which is basically a hybrid of strong safety and linebacker. In that role, one that allowed him to freelance more within Florida State’s defense, he notched 80 tackles, including 10 for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and 12 defended passes.
At the NFL level, some experts expect Ramsey to convert full time to safety, where his combination of size, strength, speed and playmaking ability make him a fearsome weapon on the defensive side of the ball. But with the fantastic physical tools and natural skills in coverage that he possesses, some teams may look at him as a pure cornerback. Regardless, Ramsey is one of the most impressive defensive players in this year’s class and will likely hear his name called very early in the first round.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
"Dominant athlete. Sprinter and champion long jumper for Seminoles track team and hit a 40-inch vertical leap in high school. Prototype frame for a big, press¬ cover corner. From press, lands accurate blows with extended arms into the shoulders of receivers. Can redirect and, in some cases, completely road¬block a route with his disruptive press strength and tactics. Has experience at safety and as slot corner. Boundary corner in 2015 and quick to crowd outside releases against sideline. Shines in trail coverage. Has athletic ability to slam on brakes from full sprint and shadow comeback routes. Length and closing speed make it difficult to beat him over the top. Elite leaper who can challenge jump balls against anyone. Uses aggressive ripping and raking against catch attempts. Aware and instinctive from zone and off coverage. Diagnoses quickly and will stick a foot in the ground and drive hard towards the throw. Balanced, wrap-up tackler in space." - Lance Zierlein
“I played a little linebacker, a player who can do a lot of things for a team, can make plays, be a game changer, that’s what’s needed. Most people think just offensive players can make plays, change games, make big plays, but as we saw in the Super Bowl this year, Von Miller, he was the game changer, he was the playmaker, that whole defense." - DB Jalen Ramsey on his versatility