Steelers Prospect Watch: Jalen Ramsey


Jalen Ramsey is the top defensive back prospect in the NFL Draft. If available, he would be a perfect selection for the Steelers. 

If by some grace of a higher power Florida State cornerback and consensus All-American Jalen Ramsey is available when the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock in the 2016 NFL Draft, they will have no other logical choice.

At first it seemed frivolous to write about Ramsey considering he’s currently projected as a top-five pick. However, much can change between now and April. One thing will not change; Jalen Ramsey is still a beast.

Ramsey is easily the most versatile defensive back prospect in the entire draft. He spent a majority of last season as a nickel back for the Seminoles but has flourished as a full-time cornerback in 2015. Ramsey didn’t have an interception in 2015, because nobody he covered was open.

He broke up 9 passes, made 43 tackles and forced a fumble during in 2015. More telling are his 2014 statistics as a nickel. He intercepted two passes and forced three fumbles. More importantly, the Tennessee native made ten tackles for loss, proving that he can step up and make a play when called upon. At 6’1” and 202 pounds, Ramsey has the size to play anywhere on the field and the coverage ability to back it up.

ESPN’s Todd McShay called Jalen Ramsey one of the more complete players in this season’s draft class. He won the ACC championship in the long jump during his Florida State career.

As mentioned in USC’s Su’A Cravens’ Prospect Watch, Pittsburgh is in dire need of a playmaker on the back end. Ramsey is that playmaker. Florida State lined him up at cornerback because he was the best cover corner on their roster by far, but an argument can be made that Ramsey is better suited at a safety or nickel back position.

Situating Ramsey at the safety position would allow the Steelers to see what they have in 2015 second round pick Senquez Golson. Golson was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury but showed a lot of promise at Ole Miss. While it’s too early to call Golson a potential pro-bowler, he made a litany of great plays and was the leader of Ole Miss’ “land sharks.”

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Regardless of where Jalen Ramsey is played in 2015, he’s a can’t miss prospect. In my estimation, he’s the closest thing anyone can get to a “sure thing” in the 2015 draft.

The Steelers will be placed in a precarious position this offseason. Aside from safety Mike Mitchell and cornerback Cortez Allen, nearly all of the Steelers’ secondary players will become free agents. The Steelers will need to make decisions on players such as cornerbacks Antwan Blake and William Gay. Blake has shown promise in 2015 but Gay is likely on his way out.

As it stands on Dec. 22, Ramsey will almost certainly be selected before the Steelers are on the clock. Ramsey also has not yet declared for the NFL Draft.

Next: Su'a Cravens: Steelers Prospect Watch

It’s against the Steeler way to trade up in the draft for a player. However, if the price is right, Jalen Ramsey could be the player to buck the trend. I believe he’s worth it. If nothing else, the Steelers should trade up to keep him out of a purple and black uniform.