Florida State’s Ramsey makes case to be top pick in NFL draft

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jalen Ramsey is hoping the Tennessee Titans make him the top overall pick in next month’s NFL draft because of his skills and not any hometown bias.

The defensive back had another chance to make his case on Tuesday during Florida State’s pro day. Ramsey, kicker Roberto Aguayo and 14 other Seminoles did position drills in front of representatives from 30 teams.

Aguayo, who is the most accurate kicker in NCAA history with a 96.73 percent conversion rate, also made a favorable impression on scouts and could go as high as the third round.

But Ramsey was the headliner.

His hometown team has the top pick in next month’s NFL draft and was well represented to take another look at Ramsey. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and general manager Jon Robinson all in attendance.

Ramsey grew up in Smyrna, Tennessee, which is 25 miles south of Nashville. He’s trying to do something that hasn’t been done in 60 years — become the first defensive back taken with the top overall pick.

The last time that happened was 1956, when the top overall pick was Gary Glick. It’s never happened since the AFL-NFL common draft in 1967. The highest defensive back taken since then Eric Turner, who the Cleveland Browns selected with the second overall in 1991.

“I want them to pick me because I’m the best player in the draft, not because I’m from Tennessee. I feel like I am and continue to show it,” Ramsey said about going first. “I’ve had the resume for it. You can watch my game film.”

During last month’s combine, the 6-foot-1, 202-pound Ramsey ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash while having the top position performances in the vertical jump (41½ inches) and broad jump (11-foot-3). He only did defensive back workouts on Tuesday.

Ramsey, who was a second-team selection to The Associated Press All-American team the past two seasons, is intriguing because of his versatility in the defensive backfield. He started 25 games at safety and 16 at cornerback. Last season at corner Ramsey finished with 52 tackles, including 3½ for loss and a team-high 10 pass breakups.

“He is very capable of being the first pick and you can justify it because of the versatility he brings to the defensive side of the football because of the way the game is played,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He can play corner and match up against the big receivers, he can play a play tight end and tackle and he can play a back out of the backfield. He’s also a tremendous blitzer.”

Ramsey said his preference is to play cornerback but that he would play wherever he is the best fit.

“I think all of my traits are equally a reason for that success,” Ramsey said. “I’m big. I’m strong. I’m fast. I have good hips. I have good footwork. I’m always trying to perfect my craft, and at the end of the day, I’m just a competitor.”

The Browns, who have the second pick, sent just a scout while San Diego Chargers defensive backs coach Ron Milus ran the position drill. Ramsey said he has had discussions with all the teams picking in the top five. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin was also in attendance.

If Ramsey did end up with the Titans, Florida State would be the first school since Southern California in 1969 to have players selected first overall in consecutive years. Offensive tackle Ron Yary was picked by the Vikings in 1968 and running back O.J. Simpson was chosen by the Bills the following year.

Ramsey said he has talked to Jameis Winston, who was taken first by Tampa Bay last year, about the entire draft process and how to approach his upcoming workouts.

Fisher said having the top pick two years straight would be a benefit his program.

“It would show we are evaluating the right guys but we are doing the right things internally to help these guys develop,” he said. “At the end of the day the kids have to do it but we also have the right program and are asking them to do the right things.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington reclaims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30

Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) gestures to Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodríguez (44) after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
MLB investigating Astros pitcher’s alleged use of homophobic slur

The incident occurred during a heated exchange between Houston’s Hector Neris and M’s star Julio Rodriguez on Wednesday night.

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Most Read