TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — **First, Jalen Ramsey made a statement with his performance here at Florida State's Pro Day.
Afterward, the talented defensive back delivered a message he hopes his hometown team – the Titans – will remember when it's time to make the No.1 pick in the NFL Draft.
"Especially for the Titans and their fans out there, I would love for them to draft me,'' said Ramsey, who was born in Smyrna and played at Brentwood Academy. "But I don't want them to draft me because I am a hometown kid. I don't want them to draft me because I am a kid from Tennessee.
"I want them to draft me because I am the best player in this year's draft and being from Tennessee, that's icing on the cake."
Ramsey did his best to convince NFL teams of that here on Tuesday, when he was on center stage. A day after watching Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil at his Pro Day in Oxford, Miss., Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey were on hand to watch Ramsey, who was impressive in drills. Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was also in attendance, along with director of college scouting Blake Beddingfield and college scout Tim Ruskell.
All 32 teams were represented, including Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht.
"It is a dream come true to have anybody come and watch my Pro Day,'' Ramsey said, "but it is truly special when you have the hometown team come out here.
Defensive back Jalen Ramsey performs drills during Florida State's NFL Pro Day on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photos)
"I really am hoping they pick me. I am hoping to go No.1. I'll be blessed no matter what, because it has always been my dream to play in the National Football League. So whatever team I go to, I'll give it my all. But people want to go back home and play and I am a competitor, so I am always going for the top spot. It just so happens my hometown team has the spot in this year's NFL draft, so that is what I am shooting for."
Robinson came away impressed.
"I would say he did a little bit more position-specific stuff,'' Robinson said of Ramsey's Pro Day performance. "They worked him a corner and they worked him at safety, and he was smooth and fluid at both positions. He was able to transition and get out of his breaks really quickly. He has good catching skills, very good leaping ability. He tracks the ball very well.
"He can play both positions. It's a unique skill-set, and you see it more from offensive linemen, who can play guard and center or guard and tackle. But to have a defensive back who can play safety and corner, which is really two totally different positions, it's a unique skill set to have."
The Titans plan to bring Ramsey to Nashville for a visit in the coming weeks.
A two-time All-America performer at Florida State, Ramsey didn't run the 40 on Tuesday, or take part in other events like the vertical leap or broad jump. He let his work from the NFL Combine speak for itself. Ramsey ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis while also recording a 41.5-inch vertical leap and a broad jump of 11'3'', which were both the top measurements among all defensive backs.
Ramsey looked especially sharp in positional drills. He was smooth backpedaling, and displayed a burst. He went up high several times to get the football, and caught it with ease.
The big question surrounding Ramsey is where he'll play in the NFL – cornerback or safety.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said Ramsey is capable of playing either.
Ramsey was the first Florida State cornerback to start as a freshman since Deion Sanders in 1985. He started all 13 games at cornerback in 2015, while also returning kickoffs. He finished the season with 52 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery and a team-high 10 pass break-ups.
"How the game has changed, there's not many guys like him,'' Fisher said of Ramsey. "Everybody talks about all these offenses and how you are stopping the big receiver, the little receiver, the tight end. He can play all the positions. He can play corner, and match up with the big receiver. He can play field and play off. He can play against a tight end, he can play a back out of the backfield. He can tackle, and he's a great blitzer. The way the game has changed, you can't find enough of those guys."
Said Ramsey: "I would love to play corner, but it doesn't matter. Wherever the team needs me, I'll play."
Not only was Robinson impressed with Ramsey's performance, he also likes his swagger.
He has no problems with Ramsey saying he's the best player in the draft, and that he should be the pick.
"You like that at that position,'' Robinson said. "You want guys, that when they are going to be isolated on the perimeter, more times than not against the No.1 receiver, or a playmaker offensively, you want them to have that swagger about them where they are saying, 'I can cover this guy. I can take this guy out of the game.' Confidence is something that you look for in that position."
Fisher, for one, believes Ramsey made a lasting impression on Tuesday.
"I am not going to campaign (for Jalen),'' Fisher said. "But he is very capable of being the first pick, and you can justify it because of the versatility he brings to the defensive side of the football and being able to play all the multiple positions, and being able blitz and tackle.
"But listen, what a team picks and what they need is up to him. I don't have to campaign, Jalen campaigned for himself with that workout."