Rookie orientation: Numbers game


JACKSONVILLE – A number became a primary topic around the Jaguars Friday.

Actually, make that two numbers:  the one that rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey wants, and the number that he kinda, sorta – OK, definitely – covets for next season and beyond.

First, the number he has:

That’s No. 38, which he was given upon arriving with the organization this week after being selected No. 5 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft last Thursday.

Thirty-eight may well be a fine, upstanding number. For some people. But Ramsey’s smile and response when was asked about the number Friday told all you needed to know about how he feels about it.

“I’m just going to defer that right now,” Ramsey said with a laugh while speaking to the media around mid-day Friday on Day 1 of the Jaguars’ rookie orientation.

Ramsey was reluctant to get into specifics about his desired number before provided a pretty obvious “hint.”

“I’m a Jordan-brand athlete,” he said, referring to his association Nike’s Jordan brand. Michael Jordan, the brand’s namesake, wore No. 23.

Jaguars safety James Sample currently wears No. 23. When asked if he had a plan to get the number, Ramsey again politely declined to be specific.

“I’m not saying that,” he said, smiling. “I’m just saying, ‘I’m a Jordan-brand athlete.’ ”

Ramsey received a shipment of shoes from Nike’s Jordan brand Friday morning, and Ramsey was asked if shoes perhaps could be part of a compensation package to Sample in exchange for a certain number.

“Shoes, cash – whatever it takes,” Ramsey said with a laugh.

Also around Day 1 of rookie orientation:

*Defensive tackle Sheldon Day, the Jaguars’ fourth-round selection last weekend, said while he is most comfortable as a three-technique defensive tackle, the team told him he could play more than just that position. “They said I can play multiple positions and move me around on the defensive front to try and get me to find a spot,” he said. Three-technique emphasizes pass-rush ability, quickness and athleticism and is likely to be Day’s position for the most part as a rookie. …

Images from the first day of Jaguars orientation.

*Ramsey and Day both said the conditioning test Friday went well for all rookies participating. “It was fun,” Day said, adding, “I think everyone looked pretty good.” Said Ramsey, “That was pretty easy for everybody, not just myself. That was pretty easy. Pretty basic.” …

*Ramsey said the first day of orientation – as expected – was mostly focused on techniques and meetings in a “relaxed” atmosphere. The Jaguars went away from the rookie minicamp format with practices in the wake of Dante Fowler Jr. sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in last year’s first rookie minicamp practice. …

*Sixth-round quarterback Brandon Allen on being drafted by the Jaguars, a team with a young, established starting quarterback in Blake Bortles: “The best part is there is an obvious starter. That’s someone you can learn from who has been playing and who knows what it takes to be successful at this level. When someone ahead of you has been doing it you can learn how they prepare and how they practice. That’s the best opportunity for me.”

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