Are there 26 NFL players better than Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey?
Can we really say there are 26 players in the NFL who are better than Jalen Ramsey?
I was looking for an angle to use when writing about Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and his latest press conference with the media over the weekend. I didn’t want to take the same angle that everybody else covered, the narrative that the cornerback is out there on the field putting in work and having fun with the game he loves.
But the most recent news that Ramsey was ranked 27th overall by NFL.com and it’s ongoing list of the top 100 players in the league, affords me a chance to speak for and against the decision. As the Jaguars most polarizing player, and arguably the best cornerback in the league, the question must be thrown out there.
“Are there 26 players in the NFL that are better than the Jaguars controversial star?”
Realistically, it’s a tossup. Since the rankings are based on player cooperation, you can make the argument there are players who play the game better than Ramsey based on their position, with quarterbacks and defense of ends getting a lot more love. As an athlete, are there 26 players in the NFL that are better than the former FSU star? That’s a debate I’d love to have all day.
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Ramsey’s ranking is due in part to the falloff and play of the individual, regardless of whether he made the Pro Bowl last year, and the collapse of this team during a seven-game losing streak in the middle of the season. These rankings are very subjective, which means the more games you win, the more recognition you’re bound to get. Had the Jaguars won 10 or 11 games last year and made the playoffs for a second consecutive year with Ramsey and other defense of stars making the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams, his ranking would be higher.
The fact that he was initially the only player on the Jaguars team to make the Pro Bowl (Calais Campbell was later added to the AFC roster) should him some more clout with the voting.
Just to understand, Campbell was ranked 54th overall, which I find to be severely wrong.
When Jalen Ramsey spoke to the media the other day, he outlined the fact that he is not only a professional football player, he is also a human being just like every NFL player looking to have fun. There is a difference between the person on the field perfecting his craft and the person off the field, away from the building who is just like every other 24-year-old. We as the media must be mindful of that.
In other words, he told the media to not take things so seriously. I chuckle at it only because we react to what he says and what he does. And if he didn’t want the publicity or the notoriety, wouldn’t do such outlandish things at times.
I happen to like what he did when he reported to training camp last week, with the armored truck and Ha Ha Davis putting together his promo. It’s that lighthearted feeling that this team lacked last season, in a year where everything seemed to implode at every corner. There’s a change in how this team is preparing during training camp. Players who have been interviewed said they are motivated to prove 2018 was nothing more than an aberration.
Jalen Ramsey is still going to be the most sought after player in the locker room in terms of interviews and will also be the most visible player in the national spotlight. And as long as he continues to play at an all-world level, it doesn’t matter what he does off the field. The Jaguars need that kind of visualization, if you will.
This team is made up of stars. Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Nick Foles, and Leonard Fournette deserve national recognition without upstaging the effervescent Ramsey. And from my vantage point, it will remain that way.
What I think we are getting is a more mature player off the field who still wants to remind people that he is young and building his brand for his future. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when things like being ranked as low as he was by NFL.com come out, it’s enough to be used as bulletin board material.
We will see whether Jalen Ramsey, who doesn’t appear to need any kind of motivation to play the game, uses this to prove everybody wrong and then let them know about it later.
If that is the case I think this will be the best season Ramsey has had in a Jaguars uniform.