2018 AFC Championship Player Profile: Jalen Ramsey

"I ain't got too much to say. But…we're going to the Super Bowl. And we gonna win that b-"

Why would you tempt the fickle football gods like that, Mr. Ramsey? [N.B. He apologized on Twitter late on Sunday night] You're just asking for trouble. Fortunately for us though, it makes for an interesting player profile. Let's dive into America's next great cornerback.

The first question for all of us remains: do you buy the hype? There looks to be no doubt that Ramsey has the talent to become an elite cornerback at the highest levels. But he hasn't proven much just yet. To get to that level, you have to perform play after play, game after game, season after season. Ramsey is still young and he's looked solid in the playoffs. But it will be another year before we have a legitimate answer to this question. And I think Ramsey has a fundamental grasp of the situation. He understands that you can talk all you want, but you have to back it up on the field. And he's said exactly that:

"Talking is cool. You can do all the talking you want on Twitter, to the media, but when you get on the field, you're going to have to produce. You're going to have to show us what you're really about."

There's certainly at least one person out there who has bought into the hype and that's the Jags HC Doug Marrone. Because there are plenty of NFL players out there who have the talent, who have that freak athletic ability. So is Ramsey just resting on his laurels or does he have the work ethic that will propel him to the next level. Now clearly, Marrone is not an impartial observer, but I think we have to take some of what he says seriously, particularly concerning his work ethic at practice (sorry Allen Iverson):

"What people don't necessarily see is how hard [Ramsey] works [at practice]. He doesn't want a ball completed on him in practice, and he's been like that the whole time…Ability is never going to be the question, because you can see that on the field. Is he just a natural talent or does he work at it?"

This month, Ramsey was named to his first Pro Bowl team on top of his first playoff  interception against Buffalo. It's been a good 2018 for the kid. That's on top of the 2017 regular season that saw him intercept opposing quarterbacks four times and break up another 17 pass attempts. According to Pro Football Focus, Ramsey allowed 48 catches for 586 yards against some of the league's elite receivers. On top of the intangible talent, Ramsey has developed those tangible skills. His teammates love him. Veteran safety Barry Church claims he's never seen a young kid with the study habits of Ramsey.

Ramsey is going to have to have the game of his life on Sunday if the Jags are going to pull off the miracle upset over the Patriots. Count me as one who's starting to believe the hype.