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Jalen Ramsey highlights Jaguars vs. Buccaneers preseason game

In his first NFL game action, rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey showed why he was worth the fifth-overall pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars held Jalen Ramsey out of the first week of preseason against the New York Jets. It wasn’t a significant enough injury to prevent regular season action, but enough to delay his debut at least a week.

And Ramsey was worth the wait.

The first-round pick made a number of plays for the Jaguars in just 17 snaps with the first-team defense, largely out of the slot cornerback position. He covered receivers well and showed an ability to stop the run several times on Saturday night.

Run coverage

For example, here’s his first NFL play from scrimmage. It’s a toss to the left, his side of the field, and instead of letting the play develop and reacting, he gets into the backfield and wraps up Charles Sims for a loss.

Or even when Ramsey can’t necessarily get into the backfield, he does his best to set the edge against the run. This play comes on the first series of the game as well, preventing Sims again from getting positive yardage and forcing him to stay inside.

It was an encouraging first series for Ramsey in terms of helping in run support, but how did he do in pass coverage?

Pass coverage

There were a number of plays where Ramsey covered his man well down the field, but this is one of the clearest instances of him staying with his receiver.

Ramsey is again in the slot cornerback position as he was almost all night against the Buccaneers and he’s covering No. 11 Adam Humphries. Humphries makes a hard cut right 12 yards up the field and Ramsey, though flailing his body a bit, stays with him in tight coverage. Technique be damned, the opposing quarterback isn’t going to Ramsey’s receiver in this situation.

All in all, Ramsey had just 17 snaps in his preseason debut against the Buccaneers. I’ll be excited to see what he does with (hopefully) twice that many in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals in what is traditionally the preseason game where the starters get the most reps.