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Ex-Pro Bowl QB Jim Everett: Rams Got ‘Too Cute’ Using Jalen Ramsey in Slot Last Year

The future of Jalen Ramsey is a hot topic these days, as the Rams’ star cornerback continues to be mentioned in trade chatter.

Ramsey has a cap hit of $25.2 million in 2023 and Los Angeles is experiencing a salary crunch, so dealing him has merit.

But if the offseason comes and goes without a trade, former Rams Pro Bowl quarterback Jim Everett still wants to see a change: the return of Ramsey to his natural position of outside cornerback.

“He’s being utilized improperly on the field,” Everett told Compare.bet. “You can call it a Star, you can call it whatever, but he’s a shutdown corner. He needs to shut down receivers and he would for any other team. I just can’t figure out what the Rams defense wants to try to do with that.”

Ramsey played many of his snaps in the slot last season, and not surprisingly, immediately became one of the best nickel defenders in the NFL.

But Everett doesn’t think his value is greatest on the inside.

“I guess maybe there is game-planning, but defense is still defense, and when you’ve got a guy like Jalen Ramsey, I would definitely use him as a shutdown corner,” Everett said. “I guess they want to use his linebacker skills. It speaks to the Nos. 2 and 3 DBs more than it does him, because if defenses know he’s always on the No. 1, they can game-plan to attack Nos. 2 and 3.”

While an injury to Aaron Donald and other factors were involved, the Rams’ pass defense efficiency sunk notably in 2022. They finished No. 24 against the pass, per Football Outsiders, after finishing in the top-10 in each of Ramsey’s first three seasons with the team.

Los Angeles was No. 24 in the NFL against No. 1 wide receivers and No. 29 against No. 2 wideouts, per Football Outsiders, lending credence to Everett’s claim that Ramsey’s usage in the slot made it an inferior overall product.

“I understand what they’re trying to do,” Everett said. “I just think they’re getting too cute.”

The Rams might be in rebuild mode as the bill comes due on so many high-profile trades and signings the past few seasons. Everett dismisses the “crazy” idea of cutting Ramsey, but said a trade is realistic.

“If other teams want a shutdown corner and are willing to give up the farm for it, then why wouldn’t you think about it?” Everett said. “The Rams are on the downside of the Super Bowl equation. They’ve got some cap issues. Jalen is one piece of the puzzle, but I don’t think he’s the whole puzzle. There is value there, and there is more value there if he’s playing his proper position, in my opinion.”

Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown recently lobbied for the addition of Ramsey, and Everett could see that as a landing spot.

“I think Jalen would help that team a ton,” Everett said. “They need corners. They’re probably going to draft a corner. The back-end of that defense and maybe the linebacking corps needs a little bit of attention.”

The teams pulled off the blockbuster Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade two seasons ago, and Everett said the presence of former Rams Director of College Scouting Brad Holmes as Detroit’s GM makes a Ramsey trade quite feasible.

“There is a comfort level there knowing the player, knowing the personality, knowing everything about him,” Everett said.

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