The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled to climb out of the AFC’s cellar, but rising from the NFL’s depths starts with acquiring talents like Jalen Ramsey.
Hall of Fame cornerback and fellow Florida State product Deion Sanders sees the potential in the second-year player and told Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report that Ramsey’s “future is so bright.”
“He’s a character kid, as well,” Sanders said. “He’s a kind kid. And he’s a workaholic.”
Ramsey, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 draft, posted 65 tackles with 14 pass defenses as a rookie. He grabbed two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and also forced one fumble.
That excellent debut combined with his college choice, a similar stature and trash talk have led to comparisons with Sanders. Though Ramsey isn’t entirely on board, he certainly has lofty aspirations.
“There will never be another Deion Sanders, ever. But one day I hope with hard work and dedication, I would like to be looked at as Deion is looked at now — the best corner to ever play the game, a guy who made playing corner very popular his type of way. I want to be able to be looked at like one of the greatest of all time.”
Even if Ramsey continues to develop into an elite corner, it’ll still be another decade until we even approach that conversation. Nevertheless, his NFL career is off to an encouraging start.
According to Pro Football Focus, the 52.9 completion percentage Ramsey ceded in 2016 was the sixth-lowest rate among corners who were targeted at least 56 times. Considering he typically drew the assignment of defending the opponent’s No. 1 receiver, that’s a tremendous debut.
Superstardom is far, far from a guarantee after one solid season, but Ramsey has the skill set and mentality to establish himself as a dominant NFL defender — just like Deion was.