LA Rams DB Jalen Ramsey cracks NFL Top 100 list at 37

LA Rams DB Jelen Ramsey cracks NFL Top 100 list at 37

When the LA Rams traded three draft picks, including two first-round picks, to the Jacksonville Jaguars, they knew the impact that a player like defensive back Jalen Ramsey could make. At the time, the Rams veteran cornerback Aqib Talib was injured so severely, that not only was his season lost, but the future of his NFL career was in question. His teammate, cornerback Marcus Peters, was never a true fit in the Rams defense. Need proof? He was torched again and again by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a shootout loss in 2019.

But adding Ramsey to the Rams defense was not an instant fix. The team struggled mightily in the first part of the season. So the Rams went to work from their own roster. Rookie Taylor Rapp stepped up to fill the void of injured safety John Johnson. Reserve cornerback Troy Hill stepped up and did his part, becoming one of the best NFL zone pass-defenders in the league. Meanwhile, another reserve cornerback, Darious Williams, stepped in and crushed it as well.

Ramsey reigns supreme

No matter how well other defensive backs played, the NFL is selective over who the league will praise. For now, it is Ramsey’s time to shine. And deservedly so. He leads a Rams secondary that is far better than many give it credit for. Will it get even better? That’s the plan as the Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley works out a new role for Ramsey this year, a bit of a rogue defensive back who moves to the opposing team’s best receiver.

That’s a smart move on Staley’s part. Get the most out of Ramsey now will do two things: amplify his impact on the Rams defense while increasing his value to the team or to other NFL teams eager to sign him up in 2021. For now, he shows up in the NFL Top 100 list at 37. I expect he will improve significantly by next year’s list.

Where will he appear on the list for next season? Among the top 20 is my projection.

Rams importers becoming exporters

The Rams added Ramsey to the defense under DC Wade Phillips watch. The NFL has become a bit like the NBA in that players are exercising their rights to sign with teams over the coaching staff, rather than the money. Due to limited funds, the Rams are no longer importing the top talent from the NFL Free Agency market. And without sufficient funds to make top contract bids to players, the team watched two key defensive players leave the team in 2020 in the form of Cory Littleton and Dante Fowler Jr.

Next: Explaining why LA Rams defense devalued linebacker position

Will Ramsey sign elsewhere in 2021? While the Rams have the advantage, other NFL teams are already in hot pursuit. The Raiders fanbase believes he is showing signs of going to Las Vegas next year. So to the Chargers fanbase believes Ramsey is hinting at signing with the Los Angeles Chargers next season. Of course, the Rams will face these rumors, facetious or real, since the team did not act to extend Ramsey during the 2020 offseason. Will the Rams be able to re-sign him? We’ll discuss the logistics in a future article.  For now, the Rams traded an awful lot for a rental. And with the Rams drafting backups at wide receiver, tight end, and safety, it’s clear that Ramsey is their number one priority to bring back to the team next year.

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