PHILADELPHIA – Time can play tricks on anyone and it often preys on NFL personnel executives when the days of the NFL Draft turn over.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman found himself thinking after Day 2 when he looked over his board and saw that Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo, a player given a second-round grade by the organization, was still available. Considered a bridge pick (late first round, early second) by many talent evaluators, a shoulder issue dating back to high school gave some teams pause on Ringo.
For Philadelphia, the cost-benefit analysis of a talent like Ringo on Day 3 was something that couldn’t be passed up.
At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds with sub 4.4 speed, Ringo has everything you could possibly want in an outside cornerback so Roseman decided to move up near the top of the fourth round by offering Houston a 2024 third-round pick to get the Tacoma native with the 105th overall pick.
Considered one of the best teams in football, Roseman made a calculated gamble that the Eagles’ third-round pick next year will be near the bottom of the round and the likelihood that a talent like Ringo would be available at that point would be negligible.
Ringo will also have the luxury of learning in Philadelphia where he figures to start his career as a backup to two of the savviest CBs in the NFL, Darius Slay and James Bradberry.
“Definitely as soon as I get to meet them just continue to be a sponge with vets like that,” Ringo said of Slay and Bradberry. “Knowing myself, I like to give guys younger myself tips on how they can play certain coverages better or just the ropes overall. So, definitely look up to them, be a sponge, and continue to learn from them in any way I can.”
Ringo doesn’t even turn 21 until June 27 but carries himself in a very mature fashion, something that also resonated with the Eagles.
“Obviously, you have to be in a position where you’d feel like whoever you’re going to take at that pick was worth your third-round pick next year,” Roseman expected. “But we felt really good about the (cornerback) position before we started the draft.”
Roseman claimed he wasn’t concerned about the shoulder issues but passed up on Ringo with two early third-round picks in favor of Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen and Illinois safety Sydney Brown, players who could be needed in a more expedient fashion.
Much like last year when Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean unexpectedly fell to the third round when the Eagles pounced, Ringo being available early on Day 3 was too much of a value to pass up.
“A fast guy, he’s strong,” said edge rusher Nolan Smith, one of the Eagles’ two first-round picks and a teammate of Ringo’s at Georgia. “You can’t coach that at corner, just his size and how he moves.”