Back in 2019, the Los Angeles Rams traded two 1st round draft picks and a 4th round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for Jalen Ramsey. At the time, many skeptics questioned the move, wondering if so much draft capital is worth giving up for a cornerback.
3 years later, the team has been crowned Super Bowl champions, with Ramsey being one of the pillars of the Rams success. Entering year 8 of his career, coming off a year where he tied his career high in interceptions, there are people questioning if he is the same dominant player he has been in the past.
Well for starters, in Ramsey’s two full seasons with the Rams, he has been named first team All-Pro in both years, proving he his the cream of the crop in the NFL when it comes to DBs. On top of that, Jalen was inserted into a role that he has not played yet in the NFL last season, playing more nickel and closer to the box in order to get him around the ball more. Instead of allowing teams to avoid attacking Ramsey, Raheem Morris decided to attack offenses with Ramsey, and man it was impactful. Ramsey embraced the role, posting a career high in tackles (77) and a ridiculous 9 tackles for loss, stats unheard of for a cornerback.
Critics point towards the playoffs last season, and the Super Bowl in particular, to justify the idea of a declining Jalen Ramsey. However, the numbers that Jalen ‘gave up’ in the big game are incredibly inflated, as he was docked for a 75 yard touchdown on Tee Higgins, a play where he was slung by his facemask on a blatant offensive pass interference. Without that play, Jalen would have held both J’marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd to less than 100 yards receiving when covered by himself. All three are top 25 recievers in the NFL, and no slouches in their own right, so Ramsey did not have as bad of a game as some made it out to be.
The funny thing is, critics/skeptics believe Jalen Ramsey is declining due to two games in the playoffs, completely disregarding the fact that he just had the best overall season in his entire career. Jalen Ramsey brings more than just lockdown coverage to the defense, he is also a willing and more than capable tackler, as well as a legitimate leader on the team as a team captain. Jalen is STILL the best cornerback in the world, and a top defender in the league overall, and I fully expect him to harness the disrespect and use it as fuel. Giving a player of Jalen’s caliber more motivation is a scary sight, and it will bode extremely well for the Rams defense in the upcoming season.
Now, today’s links:
Rams 53-Man Roster Projection: Built for Repeat? (SportsIllustrated)