2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey

As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

One of the top prospects in the entire draft. A profile of Florida State corner Jalen Ramsey.

#8 Jalen Ramsey/CB Florida St: 6’1 202

The Good

– Rare combination of build/speed/fluidity
– Smooth transition flipping his hips in press man
– Ability to click/close downhill, powerful break step to drive off of and get on top of the receiver
– Active participant in the run game, wraps up and finishes with a purpose, difficult player to shed
– Understands purpose and run fits, isn’t out of position
– Works off stalk blocks well, isn’t passive, and rarely stuck, looks to shed in a violent nature
– Plays the pocket well, attacks the football and will compete at catch points
– Special teams value in return and coverage unit, continued to play on coverage unit even in 2015
– Remarkable job of getting back in-phase and to the hip of the receiver when beat or bites on a route
– Versatile player who has experience in man/zone, off coverage, in the box, blitzing, and special teams work
– Durable, no injuries to note
– Lots of starting experience

The Bad

– Perhaps a little tall in his backpedal
– Occasionally will gamble and stick his eyes in the backfield against man coverage
– Has a little trouble finding the football vertically in man
– Some debate over his best position in the NFL, possible move to safety
– Saw nearly all his time as the boundary corner, will have to get used to playing with space on the field if asked at the NFL level
– Interception numbers are not gaudy but partial product of teams not throwing at him a ton in contested situations, but must finish plays and take advantage of chances he gets


– 41 career starts over 3 years
– 11 starts at safety in 2013
– Underclassman, true junior who declared early
– No interceptions in 2015, 3 in career
– Part of school’s track and field team all three years, in long jump and part of 4×1000 relay
– Five star prospect out of high school, originally committed to USC and choose FSU over Florida, Oregon, Alabama

Tape Breakdown

Sometimes, you don’t have to look too hard to diagnose a prospect. Ramsay has it all. The build, the physicality, the fluidity, every baseline quality that you want in the position. There may be some small deficiencies in his game but it’s completely overshadowed by the rock-star qualities.

You know I start almost every report with a corner’s run defense. And Ramsay has it all. He makes every tackle like it’s his last and I love the way he finishes. Wrap, drive, and put the player into the dirt.

He’ll beat up on receivers, one-arming this receiver into his own sideline. Oof.

But he understands his place in run fits, too, serving as the perimeter force player, keeping the back inside, shedding the block, and making the open field tackle. This play has everything from him.

Though he is occasionally beat in coverage, I dig the way he’s able to get back in-phase so quickly. Recovery speed is top notch. Double-move from the receiver at the bottom and gets the initial step on Ramsey. But he quickly flips, gets back to the receiver’s hip, and is right there to contest the vertical shot, though it’s overthrown.

Few cornerbacks are going to look that good when a receiver is actively trying to make them look really bad.

And here we see from Ramsey what I love the most – cornerbacks who play the pocket. Swipes down through the hands and breaks this pass up. Very technically sound.

Like I mentioned, there are occasional blips. He didn’t come away with a pick this year, and it is easy to say he wasn’t targeted, though I saw him picked on against Miami. And in that game, he drops the easiest chance for an interception he probably had all year.

There are certainly no safe prospects in a draft – remember how “safe” Aaron Curry was? – but Ramsey is one of its top talents, and that is as sure as you can be in an inexact process like this. I don’t have much of a preference between corner and safety, a talent like that could do both and has done both. It’s like Byron Jones. Pick him at one, evaluate, go from there.

He’s almost a lock to be the first defensive back off the board and go very early in this year’s draft. Obviously, he’s out of the running for the Steelers, but just hope that the Cleveland Browns at two or the Baltimore Ravens at six don’t snag him. I don’t want to see this guy twice a season.

Projection: Top 5

Games Watched: at Boston College, vs Miami (FL), vs Louisville, vs NC State

Previous Player Profiles
Hunter HenryEli AppleLaquon TreadwellDadi NicolasKendall Fuller
Deion JonesJihad WardKevin PetersonVonn BellMichael Caputo
Andrew BillingsMackensie AlexanderTyler ErvinAustin BlytheChris Jones
Sheldon RankinsNoah SpenceJordan JenkinsYannick NgakoueDarian Thompson
Bryce WilliamsCre’von LeblancHenry Krieger-CobleLeonard FloydJosh Garnett
Kevin HoganCorey ColemanShaq LawsonAustin JohnsonDeAndre Houston-Carson
William Jackson IIIVernon ButlerSean DavisTyler Boyd

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Luc Polglaze

    You put this guy at safety, he’s Ed Reed for the next 10 years. Truly a transcendent talent, imo

  • The GreekGeek

    As a corner almost sounds like the second coming of Ike Taylor. I’d take him in a heartbeat. I wish we had the resources to trade for him…

  • Rusted Out

    He certainly looks that way. The way he laid out for a few of those picks is amazing. No was this guy makes it out of the top ten. Wish the Steelers had a shot at him. He’s exactly what this team needs to put them over the top.

  • PaeperCup

    Several people have him going to the Ravens…bummer. I’m not as big of a fan as others, but if he’s legit I don’t want to play him twice a year.

  • Tom Jackson

    Exactly him and Myles Jack are the two players I desperately want out of Baltimores hands. Because if they reach their full potential they’ll be unbarrable playmakers that can do so much damage. Can only hope that Ramsey would be an outside corner on their team. Thats where I don’t fear him as much with AB and Martavis on our squad.

    Thats when you are ok with very good players on division opponents if you have them in hand like Mosley. God to see him play against Le’Veon is so funny. LOL

  • LucasY59

    This guy is the one guy in the Draft the Steelers would absolutely love to get, but unfortunately have no shot at, it could be like drafting Rod Woodson again, but wont happen…

  • LucasY59

    I would like another Ike, but that would mean that the Draft pick would be a 3rd rdr (iirc) I think there is a guy that could be available in the 3rd that reminds me of Taylor, Maurice Canady is physically very similar to to Ike, has height length and wheels, Im not sure if he has the cover skills Ike had, but could maybe be developed? (being a 3rd rd pick, Ike had some developing to do, but also had the work ethic to build the skill)

  • The GreekGeek

    I’d like to hear more about him because I don’t know much. Maybe SD will do a breakdown…

  • SFIC

    Certainly will be a special player.

  • LucasY59

    I would like to seem a profile on him also!

    I have seen other sites ranking him, and he is all over the place as far as where they project him to be available, most are somewhere around a 3rd rd grade on him.

    his highest ranking is as a 1st rd pick, and they are mainly looking at his measurables, he is supposed to be 6’2′ and run a 4.4 forty (we will see what the actual #s are at the combine) I think they are definitely putting too much into that and that most of the others are more accurately grading him in the 3rd.

    I am curious to see if he has good short area quickness to go along with his top speed, since coverage skills are needed just as much as speed.

    hopefully we will see breakdown on him on this site

  • LucasY59

    I looked back and they didnt have a 3rd in 2003 (traded it to move up for Troy) Ike was a 4th rd pick #125 overall,

    how great would it be if the Steelers could get a Safety in the 1st and CB in the 4th this Draft, who could help the Secondary the way those two did? (not likely to trade up for a Safety this yr)

    I know Troy is a once in a lifetime player and Ike far surpased his 4th rd draft status, but even getting above avg. Starters with those two picks would help a lot, get a TE and DL with the 2nd and 3rd and things start looking good for this yrs draft class.

  • Ask Questions Later

    You beat me to it. Personally I think he can be better. Safeties are asked to cover more and more in addition to playing middle field (covering goes especially true for tight ends like Gronk).

  • Ask Questions Later

    …. And Joey Bosa is any better?!

    As a fan, do you not want your rival to become better to find out if you really are the better team?

  • PaeperCup

    Nah…I rather take the Pats approach, beat up on your division, come into the playoffs with a bye, home field, and a lot of steam, and win championships.

  • Shane Mitchell

    AB will eat this over hyped rookie up all day bring him on, he has good speed but is more of a long strider he will struggle against NFL WRs in man coverage, kind of gangly and often off balance.

  • Aj Gentile

    He will probably be the first defensive player take .

  • Steve

    The same was said about Dupre last year and he fell into their hands. Never say Never until the Fat lady sings.

  • Steve

    One thing that made Troy and Reed so good was film study, which has to be achieved by the player. Coaches can only give players so much help, then it is up to that player to do the rest.

  • Steve

    Excellent profile on a player, keep up the fine work Alex.