There are a lot of things I enjoy writing about when it comes to projecting rookies and analyzing the NFL Draft in general.
I enjoy the speculation. I enjoy the wide range of outcomes for not only each player's career but for how the draft plays out itself, each outcome seemingly being as nearly as plausible as the last.
But the thing I enjoy the most about the NFL draft is the aftermath. As fun as it is to toy with speculation about where each player will land and how his talents would be utilized in said landing spots, the sense of clarity when a player is finally drafted is refreshing. After months of talking about strictly "what if?" we can talk about how things really are for the first time.
In that clarity, we can talk about what the expectations for a rookie really are because we know just how they fit with the team moving forward. I have written things like this in the past.
Some things I got really, really wrong. Like thinking Blake Bortles and Jedd Fisch would be a good match for each other.
Some things I got right, like expecting Aaron Colvin to replace Will Blackmon rather quickly because he is good at blitzing and fits best in the slot cornerback role.
We will be diving into discussing that clarity with each Jaguars draft pick from 2016... and first up will be the Jaguars' first pick in the draft, the No. 5 overall pick: cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Worst case scenario
The worst case scenario for Jalen Ramsey's rookie season would obviously be for him to be hampered by any injuries that could derail his development a bit. Nobody should ever expect a player to get injured because, frankly, every player is an injury risk, but this is still the worst case for Ramsey.
I don't even expect him playing poorly being a worst case scenario either because cornerback is arguably the second-hardest position to learn in the NFL after quarterback and some struggles should be expected.
Best case scenario
The best case scenario for Ramsey is for him to remain healthy all throughout the season and give the team a much-needed boost in playmaking in the secondary. One of the things Ramsey was most criticized for at Florida State was his lack of ability to force turnovers through the air, as evidenced by his three career interceptions.
If Ramsey can debunk this perception of his game and force, say, three or four interceptions in his rookie season, it should be considered a huge success. Especially considering that only two players in the Jaguars entire secondary recorded interceptions last season.
Writing about rookie season expectations for Jalen and completely forgot about this stat: Poz had more INTs than every Jag DB but 1— Summer Hanx (@HankJoness) June 23, 2016
Jaguars DBs recorded only 5 INTs last year. 4 were by Davon House. One was by Cyprien. Which was his first INT since 2013.— Summer Hanx (@HankJoness) June 23, 2016
Reasonable expectations for Ramsey would be for him to shine at times, both as an outside corner and as a slot defender, against both the run and the pass. He will add a playmaking dimension to all parts of the Jaguars defense that were previously unseen.
But he should also be expected to have his rough patches. Not only is corner a difficult position to learn the ins and outs of, but Ramsey is also unpolished as a corner to a degree, seeing as he only played the position for one year at Florida State.