Should the Seahawks have traded for Jalen Ramsey?

The Seahawks saw the Rams land one of the best corners in the league, Jalen Ramsey. Only time will tell which team made the right move.

The Seahawks were rumored to be one of the more active teams in the buyer’s market before the NFL trade deadline. One player they won’t be getting is two-time Pro Bowler Jalen Ramsey. That’s bad enough, but to make matters worse Seattle will face him twice a year now. The Rams managed to wrangle him away from the Jaguars, but the cost was very high.

Two questions immediately came to mind when I saw the details of the trade. Los Angeles sent their 2020 and 2021 first-round picks along with their 2021 fourth-round selection to Jacksonville. Question one should be obvious: is Ramsey worth that much draft capital? The followup question should be equally obvious: if he is, should the Seahawks have made the same (or better) offer?

There are two more considerations in play. Do the Seahawks even need Ramsey? The second aspect of this deal is if it would have been wiser to add him than to face him twice a year. We’ll get into all that in just a bit. First, let’s discuss if Ramsey is even worth what the Rams gave up to get him.

I’ll cut the suspense short. Anytime you can get a 25-year-old player coming off two Pro Bowl seasons, you snap him up, even if it costs you two first-round picks and a fourth. Sure, you could miss the next two Jalen Ramseys, but let’s be realistic. First-round picks are just about as likely to crash as flash.

I’ll use the 2016 draft as an example. Using the approximate value of each player, Ramsey ranks as the third-best player of the first round, behind Ezekiel Elliott and Carson Wentz. Think of approximate value as a catch-all number that rates all positions equally. There were 10 players taken in the same round that have career values under 10 points. Paxton Lynch is the poster boy here, with 2 points of value. The average value of the first-rounders is 15.8 points. Jalen Ramsey has almost exactly doubled that, at 31 points.

As far as I’m concerned, Ramsey is worth the draft picks the Rams gave up. That’s even more true when you consider they’ll likely be drafting no higher than 15th or so. It could be much lower if Ramsey helps them turn around their losing streak. Now let’s address if the Seahawks should have made a similar offer. They’ll likely be drafting within a few spots of Los Angeles, hopefully much lower. I think the talent that Ramsey brings compared to the unknown of a draft choice says yes. Looking at Seattle’s last two first-round picks, neither has exactly set the league on fire. I believe both Rashaad Penny and L.J. Collier will pan out, but the results just aren’t there yet.

But do the Seahawks really need to invest that much draft capital in a cornerback? Pro Football Focus currently has Shaquill Griffin in a four-way tie for the fourth-best ranking in the league. Too bad we couldn’t afford to keep Justin Coleman. He’s one of the guys tied with Shaquill at 80.6 points. Jamar Taylor is ranked much lower at 55.8. As for Tre Flowers…well, I don’t always agree with PFF’s ratings, but if I’m going to brag about Griffin, I have to cop to Flowers’ low rating. He’s currently at 49.2 points, which is 95th in the NFL. Based on that, yes, the Hawks should have gone for Ramsey.

Whether it was a mistake or not will likely be debated for quite a while. We’ll get a major clue as to just how big a mistake it was for the Seahawks to pass on Ramsey soon. That would be when Seattle travels to Los Angeles for a prime-time showdown on December 8th. Hopefully, we’ll all see the deal just didn’t matter.