INDIANAPOLIS — Two questions hover over Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
The first: Is he worthy of the No.1 pick?
The second: Is he better-suited to play cornerback or a safety in the NFL?
Titans general manager Jon Robinson and NFL officials are getting an up-close look at the former Brentwood Academy star at the NFL Combine. Robinson called the Smyrna native a "unique player."
In an interview with a pool reporter at the combine on Sunday, Ramsey addressed some of those questions. And he left little doubt about his desire to play for his hometown team. Ramsey wasn't made available to reporters covering the NFL Combine on Saturday.
"Most definitely, that's what I'm going for,'' Ramsey said of being picked No.1 overall. "I'm a competitor, I want to be in that number one spot.''
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.
The two-time All-American is projected to be a top-10 draft pick, but some have speculated he could be in play for the Titans, who currently have the first overall pick.
NFL clubs are evaluating Ramsey with questions about his ideal position at the NFL level. Ramsey played cornerback, nickelback and safety in college.
"I think they can see me playing whatever fits their team,'' Ramsey said. "I played it all in college, I played every position in the secondary so I'm versatile, probably the most versatile DB in this draft, so I'll play wherever they need me to.
"I can play where they need me to. I feel like I can work outside, in the slot or play deep. I have a lot to learn, have to study receivers, learn the defense I'm in, but I think if I put the work in, I'll be able to move around if they need me to, but I'll do whatever a team, or the coaches want me to do.'' Titans general manager Jon Robinson said Ramsey "is a unique player to evaluate."
"He does bring versatility, in that you can see him play off the hash, you can see him play down close to the line of scrimmage. You can see him blitz, you can see him play corner, you can see him blitz from corner,'' Robinson said. "So really, everything you're going to ask a defensive back to do, safety or corner, there's film on him, so you can gauge to what level it is any good and how it will help your team. He is a good football player."
But is No.1 too early to take a player who could end up playing safety?
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and GM Jon Robinson make media rounds at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Dwight Spradlin)
"Eric Berry, he went high, he was a safety/corner,'' Robinson said of the Chiefs safety, who played at the University of Tennessee. "They kind of did similar things with him that Florida State does with Jalen. I think guys that can make an impact on your football team, those top 10 picks have to impact players. That's a huge investment for a football team and the return on that investment you want it to be very impactful."
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said he's talked to NFL teams about whether Ramsey is a cornerback or a safety.
"That's one of the questions of the draft,'' Mayock said.
Because he had only three career interceptions, Mayock said it's possible Ramsey could be more effective as a safety.
"It's an intriguing conversation,'' Mayock said, "one that I've had with a lot of NFL teams. I think we're all trying to figure out what he is, and I think most teams would like to believe he's a corner because there's more value attached to that, and could he be Patrick Peterson, for instance. He's got length, he's got world-class speed. Even if he gets beat off the line of scrimmage in press coverage, it's amazing to see his catch-up speed. I mean, it's like beep, beep, and he's there.
TitansOnline.com looks back at some of the workouts by current Titans players at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)
"That's all the positive side. Where I have to do more work, and I think NFL teams feel like they have to, also, is, A, can he find the ball with his back to the quarterback, and B, can you invest a high draft pick in a defensive back that doesn't turn the ball over regularly. So he didn't get a lot of interceptions. In fact I don't think he had any this year. So that's the conversation. Everybody loves him. Everybody believes in him. But what about his on-ball production at the corner position? Everybody knows he can play free safety, and with his eyes on the quarterback, would he be effective and turn the ball over more frequently using that great speed at free safety. And that's the conversation. So there's no knock on him there. I'm just saying that's the conversation."