Eastern Michigan’s wildly successful 2022 campaign translated into 2023 NFL Draft success.
With the 196th overall selection in the sixth round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted defensive end Jose Ramirez, who made a name for himself in the MAC as a dominant pass rusher. Ramirez is the second player drafted out of Eastern Michigan in 2023, following n the footsteps of guard Sidy Sow who landed in the fourth round. Ramirez is the third defensive end to play under head coach Chris Creighton and warrant an NFL Draft selection, following Pat O’Connor in 2017 and Maxx Crosby in 2019.
Ramirez is also listed as an outside linebacker in many draft circles, as his 6’2”, 242 pound frame suggests a position change could be imminent at the professional level.
Prior to playing at Eastern Michigan, Ramirez originally committed to Arizona out of high school. The Florida native did not experience a snap over the course of the 2017 season and went the community college route. Dominating at the community college level was his pathway back to the FBS, and he served as a reserve defensive end for the 2020 season at Eastern Michigan. He elevated to starter status around midseason in 2021 and instantly blossomed into a star.
In 2021, Ramirez was recognized as a Third Team All-MAC selection after posting 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, in addition to producing 62 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. But the 2022 version of Ramirez was even more lethal, and he capitalized with 19.5 tackles for loss (fourth in the FBS) and 12.0 sacks (second in the FBS). Ramirez reset his personal-best with 66 tackles in this senior campaign, and he forced another pair of fumbles to go along with a loaded stat-line. Not only did he earn First Team All-MAC honors — he was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Eastern Michigan player to ever receive the designation.
Ramirez was one of four MAC players to earn an NFL Combine invite to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where he posted a 4.73-second time in the 40-yard dash, benched 21 reps of 225 pounds, completed a 34.5-inch vertical jump, and displayed tremendous agility with a 4.3-second shuttle time. He received an additional opportunity to impress NFL scouts with an East-West Shrine Game bid in Las Vegas. At the event, he utilized a rip move to fly past the opposition and generate a blindsiding strip-sack.
The star pass rusher joins a Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization two seasons removed from a Super Bowl victory. The Buccaneers made several moves in the 2023 draft to address their front seven, adding Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey in the first round and Louisville edge rusher YaYa Diaby in the third round. Ramirez may shift to outside linebacker with the Buccaneers, where he’ll be well-suited for their 3-4 scheme. Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka have a stranglehold on the starting positions there, but Ramirez could crack the rotation when competing with Diaby and Anthony Nelson for playing time.