The Los Angeles Rams made a surprising move prior to the start of free agency when they traded away star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins for a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long. The trade marked the end of an era and potentially the beginning of a new one.
When the Rams traded for Jalen Ramsey in 2019, it was a move that was made in order to help get them over the hump and add a star piece to a defense that was ready to compete for championships.In Ramsey’s first full season with the Rams, he was named a first-team all-pro and led the NFL’s number one pass defense.
Ramsey was named a first-team all-pro once again in 2021 and helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title. In his 3.5 years with the team, Ramsey accumulated two first-team all-pro selection, was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, led the NFL’s top pass defense, won a Super Bowl, and had 10 interceptions.
Now, the Rams move on from Ramsey looking ahead to a new era of Rams football. The defense is being torn down while McVay gets back to his roots of being an offense-first football team.
With all of that being said though, It’s almost been one week since the Rams traded away Ramsey. I thought it might be a fun exercise to see where Ramsey stacked up among the best Rams cornerbacks of all-time. While his time with the Rams was short-lived, he may go down as one of the best Rams cornerbacks ever.
His 2020 season in all honesty might be one of the best seasons ever for a cornerback in the NFL. The way that Ramsey completely locked down opposing number one wide receivers was unmatched that season.
WR1 vs Jalen Ramsey in 2020:— PFF (@PFF) July 29, 2021
7 catches, 57 yards
1 catch, 4 yards, TD
1 catch, 42 yards
4 catches, 40 yards
Week 13 & 17
5 catches, 48 yards
Week 10, 16, WC
4 catches, 44 yards
Newest @EAMaddenNFL 99 club member pic.twitter.com/U1p82Ke6bT
In 2021, Ramsey then helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title and the sixth-ranked pass defense according to DVOA. The 2020 and 2021 season were pure dominance by Ramsey.
Throughout his Rams career, Ramsey recorded 10 interceptions. Out of those interceptions, five of them came in the fourth quarter and three of those came late and clinched the game for the Rams, leading directly to wins. Out of Ramsey’s 10 interceptions, six of them resulted in offensive scoring drives, including two touchdowns and four field goals.
The one big knock on Ramsey is his performances in the postseason. He never recorded a postseason interception and allowed a long touchdown to Mike Evans in the NFC Divisional round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ramsey’s game against Davante Adams in the NFL Divisional Round the year before was arguably his worst of the season.
This is something that cannot be said about Aeneas Williams who had three career interceptions and two pick-sixes in the postseason. It was Williams’ interception in the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles that clinched the Rams’ spot in Super Bowl XXXVI. Still, it’s worth noting that two of Williams’ postseason interceptions came in one game against the Green Bay Packers. Williams also had just one all-pro season and named to two Pro Bowls while with the Rams.
The three players that really compete with Ramsey as the best cornerbacks in franchise history are probably Eddie Meador and LeRoy Irvin.
Meador played 11 seasons with the Rams and is still the franchise leader in interceptions with 46. He wasn’t just a threat intercepting passes either. Meador holds the franchise record for most opponents fumbles recovered and blocked the most kicks. He’s a two-time first-team all-pro and two-time second-team all-pro while being named to six Pro Bowls. He’s also on the 1960s NFL All-Decade Team. Due to the era that he played in, Meador doesn’t get a lot of the recognition that he probably deserves.
Meanwhile, Irvin was a four-time all-pro and named to two Pro Bowls in his career. He also ranks third in franchise history in interceptions with 34.
In 1985, Rams All Pro cornerback LeRoy Irvin sealed a close game against Tampa Bay with back to back interceptions! One he returned for a touchdown pic.twitter.com/9UMyIkvteu— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) November 18, 2020
Todd Lyght is an honorable mention, but had just one all-pro and Pro Bowl season in 1999. Lyght was a key player in the Rams’ Super Bowl run, but doesn’t have the accolades across multiple season. Trumaine Johnson is probably in the top-10 as he played 88 games in horns, but doesn’t have any of the accolades or postseason success.
Hopefully Ramsey continues to find success in Miami with the Dolphins. Playing with Xavien Howard and Jevon Holland and in Vic Fangio’s scheme should give him plenty of opportunities.