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What CB Jalen Ramsey brings to the Los Angeles Rams defense

The superstar cornerback is on his way to L.A., so let’s breakdown what he brings to Wade Phillips’ defense.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Rams made a massive splash play when they acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars, in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, and 2021 fourth-round pick.

Ramsey — arguably the best cornerback in football — adds a unique dimension to the Rams, and does to any defense that he plays in. His natural talent, ability, size, and physicality allow him to fit and excel in what Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips wants to do, and that’s to transition into more of a man coverage scheme.

Due to a lack of personnel, the Rams were forced to call zone coverage far more often over the past two seasons, though that’ll likely change with the addition of Ramsey.

Below are four plays that show exactly what Ramsey can bring to a defense, and what some of his capabilities are:

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This clip was included to display how the defense will begin to operate moving forward. Like I said above, the addition of Ramsey (and subtraction of Marcus Peters) speaks to the idea of transitioning to more man coverage, and this play is the perfect scenario. Ramsey may or may not travel with #1 receivers, but whether he does or doesn’t, he’ll likely receive a lot less safety help and will be required to lock guys up on his own. The plan is to slide the single-high safety (on this occasion) to the opposite hash, offering help to the other cornerback — which would be either of Troy Hill or Aqib Talib when healthy. Ramsey’s physicality was on full display on the play as he legally abused Antonio Brown throughout the entire route.

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The Jaguars look to be in a single-high look, though they rotate to cover-4 here, with Ramsey once again covering Brown. On this rep, Ramsey was lined up in press coverage with inside leverage, mirrors Brown down the sideline and throughout his route, and turns his head to the quarterback as Brown makes his cut. Ramsey’s click-and-close ability — as well as his long arms — allowed him to break this pass up.

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This rep in particular shows another facet to Ramsey’s game. He’s lined up in off coverage and immediately goes into bail technique once the ball is snapped. Realizing the lack of a vertical route from his assignment, Ramsey and safety Barry Church invert as Church drops down to cover the short boundary route (flat) and Ramsey maintains his deep coverage up the seam. Ramsey begins to make a break on the receiver once he notices the throwing motion from Ben Roethlisberger, under-cutting the receiver and making a great play for an interception.

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There isn’t much to this play, but it showcases how physical Ramsey is capable of being, and how well he plays the ball when it’s in the air. Ramsey is one of the best playmakers at cornerback, and it’s because of plays like this.

There’s an endless supply of stats and film we can use to describe just how much Jalen Ramsey brings to the Rams’ defense, though nothing can do the stud corner justice. The only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.