Florida State's Jalen Ramsey has been a continuous fixture in the top-5 of every mock draft to date. With the Baltimore Ravens' secondary problems over the last two years, he is a frequent pick of the Ravens in most mock drafts. Let's take a look at what might make people interested in Jalen Ramsey.
6'1" / 201 pounds
Physical attributes - Ramsey is the size you want from a defensive back. At 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds, he has the size to match up toe-to-toe with any wide receiver in the league and be physical at the line of scrimmage on blitzes and running plays.
Long stride - Jalen Ramsey takes a long stride, which gives him the ability to close ground fast. That's not to say that he's fast or quick, but that his longer legs allow him to eat up more yardage than other players his size.
Corner blitz - If there is one thing that Ramsey does well, it would be coming off the edge in a corner blitz. The Seminoles had him do this routinely, causing quite a havoc in the backfield at times.
Jump routes - He didn't do it consistently, but Ramsey was able to jump routes due to long stride and smarts to make a play on the ball. It is something that looks like he could be taught to do more often, especially in a free safety role.
No top talent - In 2015, the highest graded receiver Ramsey would face on CBS's big draft board would be Florida's Demarcus Robinson. Robinson is currently sitting at a projected 3rd round designation, not exactly the cream of the crop. Ramsey would also not face off against a top quarterback this season with last year being Marcus Mariota, who would go on to beat the Seminoles 59-20 and pick apart the secondary as a whole.
Inconsistent aggression - At times Ramsey seems to take himself out of plays. Whether he is blocked 10 yards off the line of scrimmage in a run play or he stands there waiting for a ballcarrier to come to him, I don't like a big bodied defensive back that isn't willing to try and make plays a majority of the time. Neither do most head coaches in the NFL. On the other hand, there are opportunities where Ramsey suddenly gets incredibly aggressive and can make big time plays when doing so. These 2 plays against Louisville are a perfect example.
In the top GIF, Ramsey literally jogs as the running back goes directly down the middle of the field for 15 yards. The bottom one sees him fight through the wide receiver trying to block him on a screen, knocking his helmet off and completely taking him out of the play to make the tackle for a 3-yard loss.
No hustle at all on the play in the top GIF, which is not what you want to see out of a top-5 pick. Sadly, there are far more examples of that than the bottom GIF, putting this in the "con" category for me.
No ball skills - In 2015, Ramsey has grabbed no interceptions. In his 3-year career at Florida State he has only 3 interceptions total, despite playing in 40 games at the time of this scouting report. He is able to get his hands on the ball at times, but cannot catch for whatever reason, something the Ravens already have difficulty with as is.
Slow to react - This could tie into his inconsistent aggression, but in reviewing game film, Ramsey can be slow to react to moves by the wide receiver, especially comeback routes. It allows faster and quicker wide receivers to get a few steps on him as a corner and move the chains or find open field on crossing routes.
I personally don't see the hype surrounding Jalen Ramsey outside of his size and versatility. Based on reviewing several games, I see him as a second-round corner and a late first-round free safety. That isn't to say that he is bad by any means, but he is still raw and shows a lack of heart that worries me if I'm a general manager with a high first-round pick.
In writing this scouting report, I left off his coverage skills and speed because I felt that both were neither positives or negatives. Against sub-par competition, he looked like an okay cornerback that could transition into a better free safety. It appears like he'll run a mid 4.5 to low 4.6 40-yard time at the combine, which will put him at about average in the NFL. That again, will make him more suited for a free safety role that can come down and cover tight ends and running backs if necessary.
With a proper coach and veteran locker room, he could grow into a really good player, or he could continue to give middling effort regardless of position and be a great backup/mediocre starter in the league. Given that he has been projected in the top-5 and has been called a "defensive savant," I feel like that praise might be due to his physical attributes and potential more so than what he has displayed.