The NFL Draft is set to commence on Thursday night, and one Seminole seems certain for early selection: defensive back Jalen Ramsey, who should be off the board very early in the first round.
Ramsey's strengths include his formidable size (6-1, 209) and freakish athleticism. He's the reigning ACC long-jump champion, and he dominated the NFL Draft Combine, posting top scores in the broad jump (135 inches) and vertical jump (41.5 inches). Ramsey also ran a 4.41 40-yard dash. Ramsey's hips and ball skills have drawn some criticism, but he showed ample catching skills during his Pro Day at FSU. Whichever team drafts Ramsey is also getting a tremendous attitude, the kind deemed entirely desirable of a shutdown DB.
A player noted for his trash-talking skills by his teammates, Ramsey is not just the kind of player who hurts your feelings. He beats you up, takes your lunch, and then tells your mom that she makes a disgusting ham sandwich. To say the least: he's got a mean streak. As Jimbo Fisher likes to put it, he's got that dog in him.
The recognition of that dog has resulted in teams often avoiding him: he has just three interceptions over three years, largely a result of Ramsey's coverage skills that have seen teams shy away from throwing at him with any real frequency. He's broken up 23 passes in his time in the garnet and gold, forced three fumbles, and recovered two as well, each of which he's returned for a touchdown.
Ramsey is also a menace coming off the edge as a pass rusher. He's notched five sacks, but many of the aforementioned PBUs have come via his pass rush. And those five sacks? They've accounted for a loss of 46 yards. Point being: when Ramsey gets home, he does so with authority.
The diverse Ramsey has excelled at safety as well as boundary corner for the 'Noles, along with FSU's Star position, which is a hybrid corner/safety/linebacker spot. He's also returned kicks. And Ramsey is intensely competitive. In the couple of years that I've covered FSU, the only player I've witnessed who's as competitive as Ramsey is also the only 'Nole taken No. 1 overall in Florida State's draft history: Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who was 2015's first pick.