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Lenny Curry on Jalen Ramsey to Jags: “A helluva choice”

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The history of Jacksonville Jaguars’ draft picks: the graveyard of broken dreams. Can Jalen Ramsey learn from these cautionary tales? We’ve had a lot of them.

R. Jay Soward, who needed a limo to take him to practice. The wideout was unreliable.

And then there was Matt Jones, who was expected to be a Slash player who created matchup nightmares. Sold a bunch of jerseys as a Great White Hope kind of wideout. Great talent, but not exactly an NFL mindset.

The stories I could tell, were this not a family-friendly website.

You can get those #18 Matt Jones jerseys at your local thrift store. To this day.

Reggie Williams? Another wideout, another bust. As was Justin “DUI” Blackmon.

Luke Joeckel? Expected to be a franchise tackle. Instead? A 270 pound turnstile in shoulder pads.

And then there’s Dante Fowler (Go Gators!), the #3 pick last year who tore his ACL four plays into his first practice.

[Abandon all hope ye who enter here, right?]

Reader’s Digest had a saying that applies to Jaguars’ first rounds: Laughter is the best medicine.

Richard M. Nixon also had a saying that applies: [expletive deleted].

Not every pick has been bad. Blake Bortles and Tony Boselli of Ballard Partners were nice. Derrick Harvey and Byron Leftwich were more typical. Reach picks that everyone knew were reaches are the time.

The expectation going in was defense, with hot names thrown around like Myles “He’ll need microfracture surgery after minicamp” Jack , Ohio State Defensive End Joey Bosa, and FSU corner Jalen Ramsey in the mix.

Once the quarterbacks went #1 and #2, it got real.

Who would be there for Jacksonville at #5?

Or more correctly, who would they reach for?

Bosa went 3rd, and at that point my thoughts went to Jack’s knee. That sinking feeling in my chest, brought forth by spending two decades watching this team squander competitive advantage with all the certainty of Right to Rise.

I was praying, insofar as I pray watching the NFL Network, for Ramsey. God knows they need a corner.

Could they get it right?

When Dallas reached for RB Ezekiel Elliott at pick 4, my heart leapt.

Insofar as my heart leaps watching guys half my age get signing bonuses for more money than I’ll ever see.

Ramsey will be an asset at Free Safety or at Corner.

It’s going to be great. Right?

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry thinks so.

“Great pick,” Curry said. “Hell of a choice. Going on raw athleticism — top pick overall. ‘God is smiling on Jacksonville,’ to steal a Steve Spurrier quote.”

Curry added that Ramsey was his son Boyd’s pick also.

And now Ramsey is Jacksonville’s. And for this writer, hope springs anew.

Maybe Ramsey will be a little bit Fernando Bryant, maybe a little bit Donovin Darius.

Expectations are such that if we get a ten year starter, we’re good.

We don’t need a superstar. Just someone who plays out his entire rookie contract, and re-ups at agreeable terms.

If we get a superstar, if the athleticism pans out? All the better.

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at [email protected]

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