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Friday, February 21, 2020

Detroit Lions a “perfect stylistic fit” for Jalen Ramsey

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Michael Whitaker
Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

The rumors surrounding Jacksonville Jaguars superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey continue to heat up as several teams have shown interest in acquiring his services. It wouldn’t come cheap, as the reported asking price by Jacksonville includes two first round draft selections in return.

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Ramsey has been linked to the Detroit Lions in rumors, and now another NFL writer has put forth his view on why it would be a good fit.

Danny Kelly, NFL staff writer for The Ringer, lays out exactly why he believes that the Lions and Ramsey are a “perfect stylistic fit”.

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The Lions have an ascending defense that looks to be one or two pieces away from taking a jump into elite status. Adding Ramsey could catalyze exactly that: Dropping the 24-year-old into a cornerbacks group that already features two-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay and Justin Coleman—who’s quickly becoming one of the best nickelbacks in the game—would give Detroit a lock-down secondary to pair with the team’s underrated pass-rushing front.

More than that, though, the Lions look like the perfect stylistic fit for the Jaguars’ playmaker. Ramsey has reportedly been irked by the Jaguars’ heavy utilization of zone coverage, which doesn’t always take advantage of his rare talent for following opponents’ best receivers all over the field and shutting them down wherever they line up. Matt Patricia’s squad, meanwhile, has played the most cover-1 coverage of any team this season, with their cornerbacks manning up and blanket opposing pass-catchers. As ESPN’s Mike Clay pointed out, the Lions shadowed the Chiefs’ top-three receivers on Sunday—even without Slay, who was dealing with a hamstring injury, in the lineup—and managed to hold Patrick Mahomes without a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 5 of last season (when, by the way, Kansas City faced Ramsey’s Jaguars). Adding Ramsey would boost the effectiveness of that system exponentially.

Detroit has the ammunition to go out and make the trade, too, at least in theory, as it still holds its own first- and second-rounders in both 2020 and 2021. Cap wise, the team should have enough wiggle room to extend Ramsey as well, with a projected $39 million and change to work with next season. And, at 2-1-1, Detroit is still well within striking distance for a run at the NFC North title. Adding Ramsey to a defensive secondary that’s racked up 27 passes defensed (fourth) and allowed a paltry 55 percent completion rate (second) and 80.3 opponent passer rating (sixth) could give the Lions defense the ability to shut down even the best offenses in the NFL.

That’s quite the compelling argument! Should the Lions roll the dice in acquiring Ramsey?

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