NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans got to know Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey pretty well leading up to the NFL Draft.
A Smyrna native who played at Brentwood Academy, Ramsey made a pre-draft visit to Saint Thomas Sports Park back in April. Titans officials also went to his Pro Day at Florida State.
Ramsey is off to a solid start in Jacksonville, and the Titans aren't surprised.
"He's playing well,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Ramsey, who was taken fifth overall in the draft by the Jaguars. "They're matching him up with some of the No. 1 receivers. You can tell he's smart. It's the same thing you saw on tape when he was coming out—very instinctive, he's a physical player. He's a big corner. He's impressive to watch."
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played against Ramsey in college.
"He's long. He's athletic, he's fast,'' Mariota said. "His closing speed in a lot of things gives him an opportunity to make a play on the ball a lot of times. You notice him on film. I think he does a great job, and we'll have to be prepared for him."
Ramsey will return to Nashville on Thursday night when the Jaguars face the Titans at Nissan Stadium.
Ramsey has done a solid job working against receivers like Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton and Alshon Jeffery this season.
He'll line up across from Titans receivers like Tajae Sharpe, Rishard Matthews, Andre Johnson and Kendall Wright on Thursday.
Sharpe got to know Ramsey during the pre-draft process.
"We were out in California training with one another before the combine,'' said Sharpe, a fifth-round pick by the Titans out of Massachusetts. "I know him pretty well, we got a chance to hang out. He is a crazy athlete, and has a real good edge to him. He is a phenomenal player and is going to be a great one in this league."
Sharpe didn't run routes against Ramsey when they trained together. The two spent time in the weight room, and working on other aspects of their game.
They'll test one another Thursday night, though. Ramsey has proven to be feisty on the field – he was ejected from Sunday's game against the Raiders.
"It is definitely going to be fun competing against him, real competitive," Sharpe said. "And with it being a Thursday night, us being rookies, our first night game, it is going to add something to it. So it is going to be great. He plays with an edge to him, but I like that about him.
"It should be fun. He is from this way so I am sure he is going to have a lot of people at the game and he'll be wanting to play well. So we'll have to be ready."
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey makes a pre-draft visit with the Titans at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)