Jalen Ramsey is everything the Miami Dolphins need. He's a leader and a champion who's strong, confident, smart, versatile, and athletic. And most important, he's a cornerback. Ramsey might just be the best player in the 2016 NFL draft, and he just so happens to fill the biggest need the Dolphins have had since they drafted Ryan Tannehill.
That's why Miami needs to do whatever it takes to make sure that when Jalen Ramsey walks onto that stage and shakes Roger Goodell's hand next month, he's wearing a Dolphins hat — whatever the price.
Guaranteeing that Ramsey is available when the Dolphins are on the clock would likely mean persuading the San Diego Chargers to move off their third-overall selection — not an easy task in a draft that most observers feel is quite top-heavy. The asking price will undoubtedly be greater than a second-round pick, which is exactly what the Dolphins paid in 2013 when they catapulted up the draft board from 12 to three to select Dion Jordan.
Many mock drafts have the Dolphins selecting Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, a dynamic player in his own right but lacking some of the checked boxes that make Ramsey the complete package. If the price to upgrade from Hargreaves to Ramsey is anything close to what it was in 2013, it should be a no-brainer. The Dolphins should assure themselves of a dynamic player who will make quarterbacks think twice before they assume that the side of the field Brent Grimes isn't on is the safer choice.
Ramsey is NFL-ready. He is no project. Archaic rules held him in school, much like they will his former teammate and Heisman-hopeful running back Dalvin Cook this year. Ramsey came to Florida State University with much hype and exceeded expectations. In his first year, he was the first freshman corner to start at FSU since Deion Sanders. In his second, he was a national champion and All-American.
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In his third, teams were so aware of him that he got the Richard Sherman treatment. He had zero interceptions this year, but in a good way — nobody wants to mess with him. His side of the field was a no-fly zone.
The Dolphins have even more reason to find a franchise corner in the draft — they come much cheaper than they do in free agency. Though paying a steep price to acquire Ramsey might hurt the Dolphins on the front end, it will pay off salary-cap-wise.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed last year's third selection, Dante Fowler Jr., to a four-year, $23.5 million deal. Assuming Ramsey gets something close to that number, he'll be a bargain compared to what top corners get in the game today. The Dolphins have cleared a bit of space this offseason with some restructuring of deals, but they'll eventually have to pay for it down the line. Having a cornerstone cornerback on a rookie deal will make it much easier to take the hits that will eventually come.
Jalen Ramsey is the best player in the 2016 NFL draft, and it just so happens he's exactly what the Miami Dolphins desperately need.