Jalen Ramsey still a top target for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Jacksonville Jaguars made some huge moves this offseason in free agency, bringing in a handful of new starters at sizable price tags. Malik Jackson got most of the attention, rightfully so, but the player who might make the biggest impact is Tashaun Gipson.
For 3 years, perhaps the most important position in head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme, free safety, has been manned by mediocre to poor players. Gipson has been extremely effective as a center field safety and the Jaguars clearly think he can continue to be given the contract they gave him. Gipson now gives the Jaguars some options in the secondary – Johnathan Cyprien has a fair shake at being a pure strong safety, but he has to compete with last year’s 4th round pick James Sample. Josh Evans is still lingering as a halfway decent backup and special teams ace.
The Jaguars now have some depth in the secondary, but could they add even more competition there in the draft?
Jalen Ramsey was circled as a guy the Jaguars probably had at the top of their board, but where does he fit into this defense now?
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Pro Football Focus
still thinks Ramsey is a good fit in Jacksonville
"Our analysts believe that the one area in which you might be worried about Ramsey is if you ask him to play a lot of off-coverage at cornerback – but that wouldn’t be a problem in Gus Bradley’s defense, which helped highlight the talents of big press corners like Richard Sherman while he was in Seattle. That might be the long-term position fit for him in Jacksonville, but in the short term Ramsey would provide immediate help at safety. His presence would allow the Jags to either move John Cyprien (whose 47.6 PFF grade last season was second-worst among all NFL safeties) down into the box, where he’s more comfortable – or off the field entirely."
I’m out on Johnathan Cyprien. I don’t think he can be an above average free safety, as evidenced by the missed tackles he’s racked up over the last few years.
Ramsey was expected to be the answer at free safety, but he can be just as impactful at strong safety. Ramsey is a force in almost every aspect as a defensive back. He can tackle, cover, and is extremely aggressive, all traits the Jaguars need on their defense.
So yes, while Gipson is expected to start at free safety, the Jaguars could make room for Ramsey. He’s that good.