First thing’s first, I’m not the type of fan that jumps on every big name. I was against the Raiders going after Antonio Brown, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of signing Adrian Peterson, and while I’m not looking great in hindsight, I wasn’t even a fan of bringing Marshawn Lynch back. I’m not the fan that sees a big name and automatically wants them on my favorite team. But I am the kind of fan that watched his favorite team give up four passing touchdowns in a quarter last week. Rumor has it Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville and the Jaguars are willing to oblige. Here’s why I think the Raiders should trade for him.
The Oakland Raiders Should Trade for Jalen Ramsey
Over the last two years, few corners have been as feared (or respected) as Jalen Ramsey. A two-time first-team All-Pro, Ramsey has dominated as one of the NFL’s best defensive players since the Jags took him in the first round back in 2016. Raider Nation got a healthy dose of Ramsey in that year, when he completely shut down Amari Cooper in the team’s week seven match-up.
Even when the rest of the team has struggled, Ramsey has excelled, proving he’s both extremely talented and versatile. There were talks coming out of college that Ramsey would even end up playing safety for the Jaguars. There’s no questioning how good this young man is.
Size, speed, and physicality make Ramsey a dangerous enough player without watching him play, where he’s a student of the game. Sure, his outspoken attitude has gotten him in hot water in the past, but what corner throughout history didn’t have a bit of an attitude? Deion Sanders, Richard Sherman, and Mel Blount were all infamous for their trash talk, Ramsey just does it in the social media era.
Secondary in Shreds
It seems like the Oakland Raiders finally have a decent run defense, spearheaded by the spectacular play of Vontaze Burfict and Benson Mayowa. After being one of the worst units in the league last year, they’ve only given up 126 yards on the ground through two games. However, the passing game is a different story.
Even in the win against the Denver Broncos, where the Raiders won by a lot more than the score indicates, they had issues in the secondary. Courtland Sutton had seven catches for 120 yards and DeaSean Hamilton was wide open when he dropped a touchdown. Then the Raiders got shredded by Kansas City, and it wasn’t even the usual suspects.
Giving up a big touchdown to Travis Kelce isn’t new for the Raiders, and it’s easy to motion to the loss of Johnathan Abram for that, as well as another long touchdown where the Raiders bit on motion and nobody was covering deep. Even giving up a 41 yard bomb to Mecole Hardman, who is basically Tyreek Hill without the history of domestic abuse, is acceptable because of physical limitations.
But who in the world is Demarcus Robinson? He had about as many yards yesterday (172), as he’d had in any season before this one (career high 288 yards in 2018). I understand that the Raiders defense was gassed and that Patrick Mahomes might just be the NFL’s best quarterback, but Brodie Croyle could’ve made some of the throws that Mahomes scored with in the Coliseum this weekend.
Give and Take
The Jaguars obviously want a lot for such a talented player. Even if Ramsey is desperate to leave, this isn’t a third and a fifth situation. Ramsey is an All-Pro, and it’s going to take a lot to get him. The rumored asking price is a first, which the Raiders happen to have two of. Sure, the Raiders need a lot more than just a corner, but considering the Bears will end up winning enough games that the pick ends up being in the teens at best? Isn’t it better to get a player that’s a guaranteed All-Pro?
Oh, and for the money that Ramsey wants? Xavien Howard, the NFL’s highest paid corner, is making around 15 million dollars a season. That’s slightly less than the Raiders were prepared to pay Antonio Brown this off-season. Instead of getting a 31 year old receiver that has been a “part” of four different teams over the last calendar year, the Raiders get a 24 year old corner in his prime.
And for the historians out there, don’t forget the history of the Raiders is written with defensive backs from other teams. “Old Man” Willie Brown, Mike Haynes, Rod Woodson (as a player, we don’t talk about his coaching), Ronnie Lott, and others weren’t drafted by the Oakland Raiders after all. Even Charles Woodson went out, secured a spot in Canton, and won a Super Bowl with another squad. Ramsey joins Nnamdi Asomugha, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum, Lester Hayes, and everyone else I just mentioned on Oakland’s impressive list of defensive backs.