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Jaguars' top draft pick 'felt the vibe' in Jacksonville

Caldwell, Bradley introduce Jalen Ramsey at news conference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jalen Ramsey, the Florida State defensive back the Jaguars drafted with the No. 5 pick in the first round, said he "really felt the vibe" during his pre-draft visit to Jacksonville.

Ramsey arrived in Jacksonville just before noon Friday and made his first appearance as a Jaguar at a news conference at 4 p.m. 

The 6-1, 209-pound FSU junior said he is happy to join the team.

“Out of all my visits -- and I'm not just saying this -- I felt the most comfortable here," Ramsey said. “I'm so excited to be a Jacksonville Jaguar now, because I really felt the vibe here.”

Ramsey said he's also excited to be reuniting with former FSU teammates Telvin Smith and Rashad Greene. The trio was part of the Seminoles' 2014 BCS National Champion team.

“We're going to try to get more rings. That's what it's about. We're going to push each other like we did at Florida State. We're going to push each other every day. I know Telvin's going to push me. I'm going to push him. Me and Rashad are going to go against each other in practice, make each other better, make each other great, like we did at Florida State. That's what it's all about. It's about that mindset. It's about trying to be great, trying to help everybody out and winning.”

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he loves Ramsey's confidence

"I told him, 'Come in here and be you,'" Bradley said. "I think he has so much humility too. He talked about the weaknesses he needs to work on, and boy, that type of mindset and that type of approach is very welcomed here."

Ramsey said he plans to lean on Smith, a fellow defensive player, during his transition to the NFL.

“That's what I did when I went to Florida State. I was a little freshman and he was a senior," Ramsey said.

UNCUT: Ramsey meets Jacksonville media

He told a story about a practice during the fall of his freshman year when he got tired and tried to take himself off the field.

“(Smith) was like, 'Are you going to tap out in a game?'” Ramsey recalled. “I ran back in right away. I was like 'Nah, you're right.' So just that fire, that mindset that he has, that Rashad has that we kind of breed at Florida State. I'm excited to be reunited with those guys, especially Telvin on the defensive side. We're going to bring that energy and that juice.”

WATCH: News4Jax interviews Jalen Ramsey

Smith said he applauded Bradley and the team's front office for taking Ramsey.

"When he came to us, I texted Gus right after and I told him, 'That's a power move,' because we needed him,” Smith said. “It was only right that we got him.”

Ramsey said he's looking forward to playing for Bradley.

“He's just such a real man, a Godly man, someone who I definitely want to play for a long time, a really long time, hopefully my whole career," Ramsey said. "I just can't really explain how excited I am to be a part of this organization.”

The fans are excited, too.

“Jalen Ramsey is an awesome guy on the field and off the field,” Jags fan Larry Gilmore said. “I think he is going to do a phenomenal job. He's excited, he is young, he's energetic; he's going to bring a lot to Jacksonville.”

Ramsey said he plans to head home to Tennessee to spend time with his family before returning for Jaguars practice on Thursday. He said he's ready to be a positive influence in the community and to bring home some wins. 

Making the pick

General Manager Dave Caldwell called Ramsey just after the team's 10-minute clock started Thursday night and said, "You don't have to travel very far for your pro career."

"We didn't think he would get to us," Caldwell said, noting that the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles trading up to take quarterbacks made it possible. "He's got some rare athleticism, speed combined with size and range. He's a very good competitor and he fits our style of play. It was an easy decision."

Ramsey started all 41 games in three years in college, finishing with 180 tackles, 23 passes defended, five sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He played cornerback and safety at FSU, but the Jags will use him at cornerback to start.

He joins Davon House, Aaron Colvin, Prince Amukamara and Dwayne Gratz in the defensive backfield. Colvin is suspended for the first four games of the regular season, opening a spot for Ramsey to play right away.

"We went from a good group to a really good group," Caldwell said.

Ramsey said he fits perfectly in Jacksonville's press-coverage scheme.

"I'm super relieved," he said. "I have enjoyed the whole process. I've enjoyed every bit of it, but at this point I'm ready to get in Jacksonville and play ball really."

UNCUT: Ramsey interview in Chicago | Jags make call to Ramsey

Later, Ramsey tweeted: "This is what it's all about right here. Can't wait to get to work in the Black, Bold & Teal."

Fans erupted at the draft party inside EverBank Field when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the pick.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted: "Big night for The 904. Gators fans that are @Jaguars fans are Noles fans tonight."

In Ramsey, 21, the Jaguars address their need for playmakers in the secondary. He can play three positions (cornerback, slot corner, or free safety). He has the length and size (6-1 and 209 pounds) that Bradley prefers in his defensive backs.

UNCUT: Caldwell, Bradley discuss first-round pick Jalen Ramsey

"Overall just a fantastic player, and we feel fortunate that he fell to us," Bradley said after the Jaguars made their pick. "When he was there for us, it was a no-brainer."

Ramsey started all 41 games of his three-year career with the Seminoles, earning All-America honors each season. For his collegiate career, the native of Smyrna, Tennessee, combined for 180 tackles (119 solo), 15 tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Ramsey, a member of Florida State’s 2014 BCS National Championship team, registered 52 tackles (37 solo), 10 passes defended, 3.5 sacks and one fumble recovery as a junior in 2015.

"I've coached some very good players, but he's special with all of his athleticism and his traits that he has," Bradley said.

Ramsey became the fourth consecutive underclassmen selected by Caldwell, joining defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (Florida) in 2015, quarterback Blake Bortles (Central Florida) in 2014 and tackle Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) in 2013. Ramsey is the 21st player from a Florida school to be chosen by Jacksonville, as well as sixth-ever Seminoles player to be drafted by the Jaguars.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher released a statement Thursday night after Ramsey was drafted:

"I'm extremely proud of Jalen and very excited for he and his family. He earned every bit of this with his work ethic and his passion for the game. He will be a tremendous player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I'm looking forward to watching him on Sundays for years to come. Jalen is a true Seminole, and he will continue to be a great ambassador for our program and for Florida State."

 

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