Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey isn't shying away from the challenge that would come with trying to turn the Tennessee Titans into a playoff contender again.
In an interview Tuesday with NFL Network's Albert Breer (via the NFL on Twitter) at Florida State's pro day, Ramsey, a native of Smyrna, Tennessee, made the case for why he should be the No. 1 overall pick—and why he'd relish the chance to play for the Titans:
"[The @Titans] should take me because I'm the best player in this year's draft." - @TheJalenRamsey #NFLDraft https://t.co/sRrsoK7LXs2016-3-29 20:40:17
While Ramsey is widely considered one of the best players in this year's draft, history isn't on his side if he's eyeing the Titans at No. 1 overall. No cornerback has ever been selected higher than third overall—Shawn Springs in 1997, Bruce Pickens in 1991 and Bennie Blades in 1988—per NFL.com.
Also, according to Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official website, Tennessee sent a number of executives, coaches and scouts to watch Ole Miss' pro day, which included offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil:
Jim Wyatt @jwyattsports
Attending @OleMissFB Pro Day from @Titans: GM Robinson, HC Mularkey, OC Robiskie, OL coach Russ Grimm & scouts Blake Beddingfield, Jon Salge2016-3-28 14:32:08
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller argued that targeting Ramsey with the first pick and then addressing the offensive line in the next round—thus passing on Tunsil—would be a more fruitful strategy:
The Titans must look at obvious things like which player is graded higher, but they should also factor in the overall strength of the draft class. Smart teams look at the draft as a puzzle and consider the package of picks they can make in the first three or four rounds. This is what the Titans should do.
With that in mind, would you rather have Jalen Ramsey at No. 1 and an offensive tackle like Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M) at No. 33 overall or Tunsil and Eli Apple (Ohio State)? Knowing where the class is strong will help inform smart decisions—not just in Round 1 but in the entire draft.
Miller compared Ramsey to three-time All-Pro Charles Woodson, while Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar believes he's a blend of two of the NFL's best defensive backs:
Doug Farrar @BR_DougFarrar
First thought when I watched Jalen Ramsey's tape: "Oh. They figured out a way to put Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the same guy."2016-3-29 16:00:51
There's no question the Titans need to improve their secondary, even after signing Brice McCain and Antwon Blake. Tennessee ranked seventh in passing yards allowed per game (229.9) but tied for 29th in passing touchdowns allowed (34) last season. Football Outsiders ranked the team 24th in pass defense DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average).
While finding an offensive tackle to protect quarterback Marcus Mariota is vital, the Titans should seriously consider Ramsey at No. 1.