The Jacksonville Jaguars have invested a lot at cornerback and it’s paying off as Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are top 10 players at their position in the NFL.
After years of pricey investments, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally seem to have a formidable set of starters on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line is impressive, the linebackers are fast and effect, and the secondary looks loaded.
None of the additions have looked quite as good over the first three weeks however as the cornerbacks. A.J. Bouye was the the prize defensive free agent this offseason and he’s been as good as advertised so far, but he isn’t even the best corner on his team.
That honor belongs to Jalen Ramsey, whose play has warranted a discussion on whether or not he’s the best defensive back in the NFL right now.
Ike Taylor has both of the Jaguars phenomenal cornerbacks in his top 10 list, but he has them a little farther down than I would expect.
Ike has A.J. Bouye as the 9th best corner in the league:
"The Jaguars are finally putting it together on defense, and the addition of Bouye has certainly helped. The first-year Jaguar notched his first interception of the season in London, one of Jacksonville’s four first-half takeaways. He was the aggressor on the play, breaking up the pass before picking off Joe Flacco. His athletic ability really boosts the Jags’ secondary."
And then he has Jalen Ramsey as the 10th best corner in the league:
"Speaking of athletic, did you see Ramsey’s interception last week? I’m sure the queen was happy to see that. I know I was. Ramsey is well on his way to improving on his two-pick rookie campaign."
Cornerback is a position that requires quite a bit of context to judge, because raw statistics generally paint a pretty poor picture. Jalen Ramsey may not have a ton of passes defensed so far in 2017, but teams are opting to completely ignore his side of the field for the most part. The one time Joe Flacco tested Ramsey last week in London, Jalen made an outstanding diving interception.
I take offense with Ike’s rankings but it’s clear he’s awarding familiarity and seniority. It’s pretty ludicrous to say Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson are playing better than Ramsey (or even to say Bouye has played better than Ramsey), but those guys have done it for longer.
Sooner rather than later, we should see Ramsey at the top of these rankings.