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FSU's Jimbo Fisher: Jalen Ramsey should play CB in NFL

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Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Florida State's Jalen Ramsey is one of the fastest players in college football.

Jalen Ramsey's flashes of versatility on the defensive side of the ball give Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly all sorts of options with the junior, and also allows the Seminoles to better-align against the new wave of hurry-up offenses without as much need to substitute between plays.

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But you can mark Ramsey down as a cornerback where his NFL future is concerned -- at least the way FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher sees it, per ESPN's Joe Schad.

That's good news not only for the NFL personnel men, who never seem to be fully satisfied with the depth of available cornerbacks in the NFL draft, but Ramsey, as well. Cornerbacks are more highly valued than safeties at the NFL level, and because good CBs are hard to find, they come at a premium on draft day, as well.

Ramsey (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) is exceptional in his role at FSU's "star" position, a hybrid between a linebacker and a defensive back who can support the run, blitz, or play the pass with remarkable effectiveness. But unlike many such hybrid players at the college level, Ramsey also possesses the speed and length to play man coverage on the outside as a cornerback -- the skill NFL coaches drool for.

Fisher compared Ramsey to former FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who broke up 18 passes last year in his second pro season with the Minnesota Vikings, but said Ramsey is faster and taller. Both are listed at 6-1, so if Ramsey is taller, it could be by the eighths-of-an-inch margin that doesn't come to light for Ramsey until the NFL Scouting Combine or, perhaps, the Senior Bowl.

Ramsey is a serious contender for the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back this season. If he decides to apply for early draft eligibility, he could be on an NFL field as early as next year -- if not, he's a 2017 prospect.

And if Fisher's assessment of his ability to play cornerback in the pros is on target, he'll be a prized one.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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