Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey doesn't think San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo belongs on the NFL's Top 100 list entering 2018. And after clarifying his stance, Ramsey sounds more contradictory than anything else.


If it were up to Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't be on NFL Network's top-100 list heading into the 2018 season.

Here's what Ramsey told NFL Network's Kurt Warner and Michael Irvin (h/t NFL.com's Herbie Teope):

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Not yet, not yet. What he play -- five games? He has good potential. I think he'll be a good player, but off my experience in playing him, it was a lot of scheme stuff. It wasn't like he was just dicing us up. It was a lot of scheme stuff.

Naturally, this got 49ers Twitter rolling, prompting a rebuttal from Niners Nation's Pat Holloway, to which Ramsey responded:

@ me next time. Jimmy is good, I said that but based off our game, only 1 Wr had more than 25 yards on us & most of that came off 1 catch for 24 yards... he used his FB & TE for big gains off play action & their running game was also good that game. That's scheme! Learn sum

Ramsey, of course, is speaking of San Francisco's 44-33 drubbing of the Jaguars in Week 16 last year -- a game in which Garoppolo went 21-of-30 for 242 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a passer rating of 102.4. Those numbers were against what turned out to be the second-best pass defense in the NFL last season.

Scheme, huh?

OK, head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense is intricate enough to carve up the best of defenses. But it takes adequate playmaking skills too. It's no wonder the 49ers offense struggled on a weekly basis before Garoppolo took over in Week 12.

That aside, though, Ramsey pointed out how his secondary mostly took away the Niners wide receivers as options, leaving Garoppolo to rely more on fullback Kyle Juszczyk (five catches for 76 yards) and tight end George Kittle (three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown) as his primary pass-catching targets.

The last anyone checked, good offenses and quarterbacks take what the defense gives them. In this case, the Jaguars were taking away the 49ers wide receivers. Garoppolo and the offense adjusted accordingly. Is that scheme? Possibly, but that's about as basic an offensive scheme there is -- take what the defense gives you and exploit where you can.

Garoppolo and the Niners followed this blueprint to the tune of 44 points. Well, six of those came from then-49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson's interception return.

But still...

Outside Garoppolo, no other quarterback posted a passer rating above 100 against the Jaguars during the regular season last year. Sure, Garoppolo might have been aided by Shanahan's scheme. But remember, he had been on the team a little fewer than two months. Not exactly a lot of time to digest said scheme adequately enough.

And nothing of what Ramsey said could offset some of Garoppolo's tosses, seen in this thread from 49ers Webzone's Rich Madrid:


What Ramsey should have said, at least in regards to that game, was the Jaguars arrived in Santa Clara expecting to walk all over what they saw as a struggling 49ers team. The Jags, for whatever reasons, played poorly and got beat. That happens to good defenses. And it's OK to admit it.

Ramsey is still one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks, although his most recent words about Garoppolo are certainly of the head-scratching variety.

Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @PeterPanacy on Twitter.