Jalen Ramsey has been traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams. How will this affect the Houston Texans?
The trade of Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams comes after weeks of turmoil internally between Ramsey and the Jaguars front office. The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as Schefter is reporting the Rams traded two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick stretching over the next two seasons for Ramsey.
Ramsey, an All-Pro cornerback, first took issue with Jacksonville’s front office during a week two match up against the Texans., a game the Texans won 13-12. Ramsey entered into a heated argument with head coach Doug Marrone following a decision not to challenge a play during the course of the game and that is when things began to change.
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With Ramsey now out of the AFC South, how does this affect not only the Texans, but the AFC South at large?
Impact on Houston
The Texans have yet to enter the bulk of their division games, only playing one AFC South team, the Jaguars, in Week 2.
Houston doesn’t see Jacksonville again until an early trip to London in Week 9. As far as matchups between either of these teams, it most likely won’t affect their week nine match-up to drastically.
Jacksonville already has a cornerback to help relieve the load left by Ramsey, A.J. Bouye. Bouye has shown in matchups against Houston, that he can handle top NFL wideouts. This trade does put tremendous pressure on Ramsey’s previous backup, Tre Herndon, who now has an increased role on the defense.
At this time, Herndon has 16 total tackles and two passes defended. The second-year corner out of Vanderbilt will have a lot on his plate going forward, but lucky for him, has some time to adjust to a heighten role before he has to match up against a top-tier passing attack.
Over the next two weeks, Jacksonville plays the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets. Neither of those teams are known as offensive powerhouses, although, the Jets are coming off an impressive win over the Dallas Cowboys which may have provided a spark for them moving forward.
Herndon won’t be truly tested until Week 9 when the previously mentioned London game against the Texans takes place. A healthy Deshaun Watson with DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills is a tough matchup for any defensive squad in the NFL.
As far as immediate impact, this doesn’t affect Houston that drastically. The front runners for the division are still the Texans and Indianapolis Colts, who coincidentally, play this Sunday.
If anything, this will lead to a more competitive game between the two AFC South rivals since they’ll know that they are the front runners in the division. The effects of this trade aren’t an immediate thing, they’re a long term one.
Impact on AFC South
The Rams gave up three draft picks for Ramsey, including two first-round picks over the next two years. The Jaguars now have the draft capital to build the team they want, through the draft process.
Over the offseason, Jacksonville signed what they had regarded as their franchise quarterback in Nick Foles. Unfortunately for the former Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl winner, he went down with a season-ending injury in Week 1.
Since that time, Gardner Minshew, an undrafted free agent, signed by the team following the NFL Draft, has started in his place. To Minshew’s credit, he has played phenomenally well for a player thrust into a role that quickly. However, questions around the long term quarterback plans remain.
NFL.com columnist Michael Silver wrote the following on the Jaguars after the Ramsey trade:
"“Those familiar with the current organizational mindset insist that the Jags, who have struggled since reaching the 2017 AFC Championship Game, are not giving up on the season and believe they can rally in the wake of the discontented player’s departure.”"
When the 2020 NFL Draft gets underway in Las Vegas this April, two names will be thrown around a lot as to who should be the first quarterback taken, Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa. Other names may emerge, but at this point, it’s too early to predict that.
If Jacksonville doesn’t finish the season out with one of the top two picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, having two first-round picks to dangle as trade bait could seal the deal. Both of the quarterbacks mentioned are being toted as generational type talents. The two have dominated collegiate for the last few seasons, but if their game will translate to the pro game has yet to be determined.
If the Jaguars feel confident in either Foles or Minshew, then they can also use those picks to build the team around their franchise quarterback, whoever it may be.
This year’s draft is riddled with skill position players that are looking to bring their talents to the NFL. Jonathan Taylor, CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are just a few that come to mind. Each of these players play wither wide receiver or running back, both positions of need for the Jaguars.
What Jacksonville chooses to do with those picks has yet to be seen, and won’t be seen for some time. The immediate impact on the AFC South won’t be felt until at least the start of next season, all the move does is solidify the race for the AFC South crown between Indianapolis and Houston.