The Jaguars have signed first-round draft pick Jalen Ramsey, according to John Oesher of Jaguars.com, and Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com reports that it is a four-year, $23.5MM deal, with a $15.1MM signing bonus. Ramsey, one of the most dynamic defensive players in this year’s class, is the sixth Jacksonville draft choice to put pen to paper, leaving third-round pick Yannick Ngakoue as the team’s only unsigned selection. There are now just 11 first-round picks who have yet to sign their rookie contracts, as our tracker shows.
Ramsey received considerable hype prior to the draft after a standout collegiate career with Florida State, with the only real knock on his game being a general lack of playmaking statistics (he mustered just three interceptions during his tenure with the Seminoles, although that could be explained by the fact that opposing quarterbacks simply did not throw in his direction that often, as Ramsey allowed a completion rate of just 38.5%). Ramsey is remarkably athletic, and he has the ability to play either safety or cornerback at the next level. The Ravens, who held the No. 6 overall selection in the draft, tried to nab Ramsey by swapping picks with the Cowboys, who held the No. 4 overall selection, but the two sides could not agree on a deal. As a result, Jacksonville was able to land the heralded defensive back with the No. 5 pick. At least one team, the Dolphins, had Ramsey rated as the best player in the draft.
However, Ramsey suffered a right knee injury earlier this week, a disturbing bit of deja vu for a team that lost last year’s first-round pick, Dante Fowler, for his entire rookie season after Fowler tore his left ACL on the first day of minicamp. Ramsey’s injury is being characterized as a small meniscus tear, and as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, Ramsey will visit Dr. James Andrews this week for a second opinion. Ramsey is expected to require surgery, but as of now, Schefter says, the team plans to have him back prior to the beginning of the regular season. However, even a player with Ramsey’s ability and upside will need some time to adjust to the professional game, so he will be at a disadvantage if he is forced to miss a significant portion of training camp.
Jacksonville’s second-round selection, Myles Jack, has major knee concerns of his own, which caused him to plummet from a surefire top-10 pick to the No. 36 overall pick. All the Jaguars can do at this point is remain optimistic about the prognosis of their prized young defenders, and as of now, there is no reason for them not to be.