49ers

Why 49ers are best fit for Jalen Ramsey trade, according to Louis Riddick

Why 49ers are best fit for Jalen Ramsey trade, according to Louis Riddick

The 49ers intercepted all of two passes last season. They surpassed that total in the 2019 season opener alone after picking off Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three times in Week 1, but there's no doubt San Francisco could still use help in its defensive backfield.   

And perhaps the best cornerback in the NFL seems to be available. 

Jaguars star Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville and requested a trade Monday. ESPN's Louis Riddick believes the 49ers would be the best fit for Ramsey's services. The former six-year pro himself says Ramsey would be the "cherry on top" for the 49ers. 

"They've taken care of the first two levels of their defense," Riddick said Monday night. "They have pass rushers galore now that can really make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. They have speed at linebacker ... they just need someone in the back end who can play the type of system Robert Saleh, the defensive coordinator, wants to play."

Not only would Ramsey, 24, fit Saleh's scheme, the two already are familiar with each other. Saleh was the Jaguars' linebackers coach in 2016 when Ramsey was a rookie. 

[RELATED: Why 49ers should do whatever it takes to get Jags' Ramsey]

The 49ers seem to have a formidable duo of cornerbacks in Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon, but Ramsey simply is a talent you can't pass up. Witherspoon has immensely improved in his third season. However, Ramsey already is a bona fide superstar. 

"I think that's the team that makes perfect sense," Riddick said. "It could really propel them and catapult them." 

After their first 2-0 start since 2012, adding a talent like Ramsey would only increase the 49ers' chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks

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USATSI

Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks

The 49ers really messed with the Rams' heads.

In the wake of Los Angeles' 20-7 loss to San Francisco in Week 6, the Rams first traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, and then made an even bigger move.

The Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in exchange for two first-round and one fourth-round draft pick.

[RELATED: Why gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the game, and has widely been rumored to be on the trade block ever since getting into a sideline confrontation with Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone in Week 2.

The All-Pro cornerback got his wish and got out of Jacksonville. The 49ers will see him in Week 16 when the Rams visit Levi's Stadium.

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Two days after the unbeaten 49ers sent the Los Angeles Rams to their third consecutive loss, the two-time defending NFC West champions reacted.

The Rams traded away cornerback Marcus Peters -- who intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone Sunday and acquired linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round draft pick. Then, the Rams put the finishing touches on a trade to acquire disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams sent first-round picks in 2020 and ’21 to Jacksonville, along with a fourth-round selection in ’21.

When Ramsey asked for a trade last month, the 49ers were not interested in paying the price, NBC Sports Bay Area reported. General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were not willing to give up the high draft picks, coupled with the big contract that Ramsey will be seeking when his contract expires.

Ramsey is a great player, of course. He scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2020, the final year of his deal. The Rams are parting ways with two first-round draft picks for a player they have under contract for only one-and-a-half seasons.

If the 49ers’ 20-7 win over the Rams on Sunday showed anything, it’s that the Rams need a lot of help in front of quarterback Jared Goff. The 49ers’ defensive line thoroughly overmatched the Los Angeles offensive line. Goff looked shaken and unsteady. The Rams managed just 48 net passing yards.

The Rams have an obvious need on their offensive line -- especially with Andrew Whitworth, a 14-year veteran, lining up at left tackle. This could be the end of the road for him.

With the college game producing a dearth of offensive linemen, any team that needs help at tackle must invest a high draft pick to get a talented player at that position.

Los Angeles made the decision to acquire one of the league’s best cornerbacks for the next one-and-a-half seasons at the expense of, potentially, beefing up their offensive line with a player who could provide a counter-balance to the 49ers’ strength on the defensive line.

Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead have reason to be excited about facing this collection of Rams offensive linemen for a while.

[RELATED: 49ers' Breida impressed by defense in win against Rams]

Can Ramsey cover tight end George Kittle? That’s about the only way Ramsey can help the Rams in head-to-head matchups against the 49ers.

Lynch and Shanahan have put together a long-term plan designed at doing their best to ensure the 49ers can remain competitive on a yearly basis. This trade by an NFC West opponent is a big step toward them achieving that goal.