JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have had little luck with first-round draft picks the past two seasons.
First Dante Fowler, then Jalen Ramsey.
The team said Thursday that Ramsey, the fifth overall selection in the NFL draft, sustained a “small tear to the meniscus” in his right knee during an on-field workout earlier this week. The former Florida State standout will get a second opinion next week before deciding the next course of action.
It’s the second time in as many years that Jacksonville’s top draft pick was hurt long before training camp. Fowler, a defensive end and the third overall pick in 2015, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first hour of a rookie minicamp last year and missed the entire season.
Now, the Jaguars await word on the extent of Ramsey’s injury.
It could be another huge setback for a team that many believe had positioned itself to make a playoff push going into next season.
The Jaguars signed defensive tackle Malik Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Prince Amukamara in free agency, and then added Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack and four defensive linemen in the draft — moves designed to revamp one of the league’s worst defenses.
But Jack will miss all of organized team activities because of NFL graduation rules, so now Jacksonville could be without its top two picks for some time. Even if Ramsey gets good news on his knee, the team likely will be cautious with him at least until training camp, maybe even longer.
Ramsey started all 41 games in three years in college, finishing with 180 tackles, 23 passes defended, five sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He played cornerback and safety for the Seminoles, and also ran track.
With Aaron Colvin suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, it looked as if Ramsey would play right away. Now, the Jaguars have to hope Ramsey won’t need surgery or will be out for an extended period.