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View from the O-Zone: "An Overall Monster"


TALLAHASSEE – The star of the day didn't actually do all that much Tuesday morning.

But if the first part of Jalen Ramsey's day was low-keyish – and if he in fact never really did put in all that much on-field time at Florida State University's Pro Day Tuesday – know this:

What Ramsey did do was impressive. Really, really impressive.

Impressive enough to be, say, the best player in the 2016 NFL Draft?

"I believe I am," Ramsey said after his brief workout in the Dunlap Training Facility on the FSU campus late Tuesday morning. "I've proved it. I have the resume for it. You can watch my game film. Wherever you want the spotlight on me, wherever you want to try to put pressure on me, I step up to the challenge.

"I'm a competitor. I'm a winner. That's what I do."

And who knows? Ramsey just might be right.

Tuesday certainly did nothing to prove him wrong.

That was no surprise, just as it was no surprise that Ramsey only participated in position-specific drills Tuesday.

Ramsey, after all, is one of the Top 5 prospect in next month's draft, and top prospects rarely carry a full Pro Day load. Ramsey also had turned in a memorable performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis late last month, with his times (4.42-second 40-yard dash) and measurables (41.5-inch vertical jump) making repeating that work Wednesday unnecessary.

"He's a freak," FSU defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample said. "He's an amazing athlete. He's an overall monster."

FSU safety Lamarcus Brutus called Ramsey's athleticism "outrageous."

"He's a freak of nature," Brutus said.

Yeah, pretty much.

Ramsey during position drills Tuesday was sudden – strikingly so. When he stopped and accelerated forward after backpedaling, he did so with quickness uncommon for a player his size. When he leapt and intercepted deep passes, he caught the ball at its highest point – and reached a really, really high point. He also showed good enough hands to counter one of the few negatives associated with him, which is that he is known at times to drop interceptions.

He showed a cornerback skillset. He showed a safety skillset. He showed enough elite-level stuff at both positions to make you realize why NFL teams are split over which is a better fit.

Ramsey did what Top 5 prospects must do at Pro Days. He looked the part. He did nothing to make teams re-think his elite status. He made the difficult look easy, and in a weird way, he even made the easy things look special.

It was, in short, a really good day.

The question for this View from the O-Zone, of course, is what all of this means to the Jaguars.

In all likelihood? Very little.

That's because in all likelihood Ramsey won't be there when the Jaguars select No. 5 overall next month. It's not overly common for a safety/cornerback to go in the Top 5, but Ramsey isn't a common player – and if Ramsey were there he would be tough to pass.

He's that good.

He's so good, in fact – and so versatile – that he would still make sense for the Jaguars. Yes, even though the team signed free safety Tashaun Gipson from the Cleveland Browns last month – and yes, even though the team signed cornerback Prince Amukamara from the New York Giants.

Those signings gave General Manager Caldwell the draft flexibility he wanted and needed.

Those signings mean Caldwell didn't have to hope against hope on draft night that Ramsey would fall. Those signings mean Caldwell had another option beside Ramsey to fill the glaring need at free safety and the depth needed at corner.

Those signings were necessary because the Jaguars just couldn't assume Ramsey would fall to No. 5. That would have been way too risky, and Tuesday showed why.

The Tennessee Titans were here at FSU's Pro day, with Head Coach Mike Mularkey and General Manager John Robinson watching Ramsey. A free safety or corner No. 1 overall where the Titans select would be historically early, but Ramsey there is a possibility.

The Cleveland Browns select No. 2 followed by the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys before the Jaguars select, and most mock drafts indicate one of those first four teams will take him.

The guess here continues to be UCLA linebacker Myles Jack will fall to the Jaguars at No. 5 – and that if he does, the fit and value will be right. That's no guarantee, but it's not a horrible guess.

No, while Tuesday's star of the day will do a lot more on NFL fields next season than he did Tuesday, the guess here ultimately is that he won't be doing it for the Jaguars.

But if someway, somehow the Jaguars do have that choice …

Well, if they do, Tuesday showed yet again why Ramsey will be oh-so-tough to pass.

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