Rams CB Jalen Ramsey sparks cornerback debate on Twitter after anonymous criticisms from ESPN story

Jalen Ramsey wasn't very happy when he read what a few league executives thought about his career.

The Los Angeles Rams cornerback took to Twitter to defend his resume despite finishing No. 1 in ESPN's positional rankings list for the second consecutive year. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler polled 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to curate the list, but quoted two anonymous league executives and paraphrased another who doubted Ramsey's supremacy in the secondary:

"I think he's falling off and a little overrated at this point," an AFC exec told Fowler. "Super Bowl, to me, is an indication of what it's going to look like moving forward [when Ramsey gave up big plays to Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase]."

"He's not as good as [Darrelle] Revis or Charles Woodson, but he's the best in this era," an NFL personnel director said. "He does everything well."

"One NFL exec said Ramsey's man coverage was not great in 2021," Fowler added, "that he wasn't isolated in that matchup often and he gave up a high percentage of catches when he was."

This prompted Ramsey to tweet out a series of accolades he believes puts him near the top of the all-time cornerback list. Ramsey earned three All-Pro selections and five Pro Bowls with 15 interceptions during his first six years in the NFL, a feat he believes isn't common at his position.

Ramsey added he believes there are only two others in history with that kind of resume — which is true. Former Buffalo Bills cornerback Butch Byrd and former Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson are the only others at that position with at least three first-team All-Pro selections and five Pro Bowl nods in their first six NFL season.

However, there are an additional five more players if you include those with just four Pro Bowls during that span:

  • Herb Adderley: four Pro Bowls, four first-team All-Pros and 26 interceptions for the Green Bay Packers from 1962-1966.

  • Richard Sherman: four Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros and 30 interceptions for the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-2016.

  • Darelle Revis: four Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros and 18 interceptions for the New York Jets from 2007-2011.

  • Deion Sanders : four Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros and 25 interceptions for the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers from 1990-1994.

  • Rod Woodson: four Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros and 15 interceptions for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1988-1992.

For those wondering where Hall-of-Famers Ronnie Lott, Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey are on this list, they didn't earn their third All-Pro selections until after their sixth season. Lott did in his his seventh season, Woodson in his 14th and Bailey in his eighth.

Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib respond

Sherman quickly chimed in to add himself and Peterson to Ramsey's list but did call Ramsey "the standard right now" and that it's his time to shine.

Former cornerback Aqib Talib also pointed out that he had 23 interceptions with four returned touchdowns in the same span Ramsey had 15 interceptions with one touchdown. However, Talib didn't earn any first-team All-Pro selections and only made one Pro Bowl (perhaps because he played in the same era as Sherman and Peterson).

Ramsey responded to both and added he only wants "people to start respecting greatness all around."

Ramsey is certainly among the best at his position currently and is coming off another incredible season. He finished with the fourth-best Pro Football Focus coverage grade in 2021 and allowed a 61.5 percent reception rate, which is seventh-best among cornerbacks who played at least 80 percent of their team's coverage snaps. He also had the most pass breakups among those cornerbacks.

It's hard to see the 27-year-old slowing down, either. He tied his career-high with four interceptions in 2021 and finished with a career-high 77 combined tackles, nine tackles for a loss and his 16 defended passes were only one off his previous career mark.

"Still a force, huge engine, fierce competitor, smart," a high-ranking NFL coach told Fowler. "Best tackler, hitter, blitzer of that group. ... He's still the best right now."

Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback right now, but he is the all-time best? (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback right now, but he is the all-time best? (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) (Katelyn Mulcahy via Getty Images)