2022 Summer Scouting Series: Georgia CB Kelee Ringo

A throwback to our summer scouting series here at Steelers Depot as we highlight several 2023 NFL Draft prospects generating buzz ahead of the start of the 2022 CFB season in positions that the Pittsburgh Steelers could be of interest several months from now once the pre-project process is underway.

#5 Kelee Ringo, BC, Georgia (R-Sophomore) – 6’2, 205lbs

Good

– Has great height and length for position with full frame (6’2, 205lb)
– Played mostly outdoors with some slot experience
– Explosive athlete who has track experience, having the long speed to carry receivers vertically across the field
– Shows his jumping ability against the jump ball, competing with the WR at the point of capture
– Comfortable playing with his back to the ball and isolated in man cover along the sideline
– Has good ball skills in terms of difficult passing and catching the football
– The length and height help his ability to play press man at LOS
— Has the strength and physique necessary to deflect receivers from their trajectory
— Can be tacky in coverage, allowing minimal separation when staying phased
– Can play off-man and area coverage by reading QB’s eyes to make a play on the ball when thrown
– Will roll up quickly on lower throws to challenge the capture point
– Willing and capable running defender who will drive through ball carriers on contact
– Size makes him a good tackler at the outside position
– Sniffs the game well on screen, flying fast to stick pass catchers
– Only has one year of college gaming experience, which suggests he has more room for physical growth and development

The bad

– Great athlete, but is not too nervous in terms of changing direction in space
— Fairly raw in terms of technique considering his physical traits
– Feet can sometimes stall at the top of a WR’s route making it slow at the stopping point and separation occurs
– Will occasionally guess when the receiver will get on their toes, stumble and step out of position
– Biting on double moves when a receiver is working vertically
— Can sometimes be too soft in the coverage area, allowing for easy completions with room for YAC
– Physical press man corner, but may need to be toned to avoid drawing penalties to next level

Organic

— Redshirt Sophomore prospect from Tacoma, WA
— Born June 27, 2002 (20 years old)
– Moved to Saguaro, AZ as a kid where he would play HS football
– Consensus five-star prospect who was ranked No. 1 CB and No. 1 Arizona State player, first-team All-American
– Selected to play for Team West in the 2020 All-American Bowl
– A world-class junior sprinter with the fastest 100-meter (10.43) and 200-meter (21.18) times at Arizona State as a junior, won the state titles of the AIA Division III in these two events in 2019
— Missed the entire 2020 season recovering from off-season surgery of a torn labrum, redshirting his freshman year on campus
– Played in all 15 games in 2021, starting with the last 12, and finished with 34 total saves, one sack, eight pass breakups and two interceptions
– All-SEC Freshman Team (2021)
— Major in communication

Band distribution

Kelee Ringo has the athleticism and pedigree you’re looking for in a closed corner of league coverage. He was CB’s No. 1 freshman out of high school in 2020, but spent his freshman season on campus in a redshirt, recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum that caused him to miss all his first season. However, Ringo made a full recovery and supplanted current Los Angeles Rams CB Derion Kendrick as CB1 for the Dawgs in 2021.

When you look at Ringo, you see a prospect that has the makings of a prototypical outside cornerback in the NFL. He’s got the size, height and length at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds to challenge WR heavy hitters at the men’s cover catch point and play some football. Here’s an example against UAB where Ringo carries the receiver to the sideline and then leaps into the air once he locates the ball, knocking it out of the air as the intended pass target for INT.

We saw a similar play made by Ringo when it mattered most in the CFP National Championship game. He successfully carries the WR to the sideline, then breaks off once he sees the underpass by No. 9 Bryce Young, picks it up and comes back the other way to seal a national championship for the Bulldogs .

Ringo’s size and length make him an ideal press wedge, having the strength and arm length to physically redirect receivers off their route as well as the track speed to carry them vertically down the field. Here’s an example against Alabama in the SEC Championship game where Ringo is running to No. 8 John Metchie, giving him no space to separate because the pass is incomplete.

When he decides to get his hands dirty and jam at LOS, Ringo can disrupt the rhythm of the passing game. Here against Vanderbilt, we see Ringo do just that as he takes the WR to the sideline and quickly runs back to the ball as it is thrown to play into the hands of the WR and fend off the pass.

When it comes to support and tackling, Ringo fits the bill as a physical defender ready to come in and strike on the outside. He has a filled frame, allowing him to bring more stopping power when he comes into contact with the opposition. Here’s a swing pass to the tight end, Ringo breaks cover and comes out of the block by No. 1 Jameson Williams to stop the TE in its tracks as the rest of the defense rallies for the ball, holding it at a short gain.

Here’s an example of Ringo sniffing the on-screen pass to No. 1 Wan’Dale Robinson, quickly snapping the ball as the QB turns to throw, arriving on the scene just as Robinson catches the ball, cutting it off. You’d like to see Ringo battle it out better on the tackle attempt, but he manages to knock the receiver down with no gain.

Still, Ringo is not without his warts as a prospect despite his physical talents. He’s only played one college season and needs to hone his technical skills to become the player he can be at the next level. While having good covering instincts, he can sometimes get too soft in the off-man or zone, resulting in enough separation for easy accomplishments. Here’s an example against Kentucky where Ringo plays the line super soft to win, giving the receiver an easy pitch and catch on the back road as he makes a move to move the chains.

Ringo also has instances where his feet stall at the top of the receiver’s route, delaying his reaction to the break which helps create separation. Here’s an example of that against Robinson in the lunge as Ringo has his feet paused during breaks on the outbound road, reaching with his hands rather than pushing his outside foot out and mirroring the road. This leaves plenty of room for Robinson to complete the hold and move the sticks.

Ringo also has a tendency to guess at times when the receiver gets up on their toes at the top of their route, which sometimes gets them wrong and leads to a separation. Watch as Ringo anticipates an outside out from Metchie who takes a work step outside and then back inside, opening up. Luckily, Alabama runs the ball over the RPO, not taking advantage of the open target.

Ringo’s toughest loss this season comes on that TD deep ball from Jameson Williams in the SEC Championship game. As mentioned earlier, Ringo has the speed to run with just about anyone on the court, being a track star himself in high school. However, he bites on the double move here with Williams’ stutter, losing just mid coverage which is all Young needs to drop him in the bucket for the score.

Conclusion

Overall, Kelee Ringo has all the physical qualities you’re looking for in an outside corner. He has the size, speed and pedigree to match the prototype at the position, being a capable press cornerback who can redirect receivers as well as contest passes regularly in man-to-man situations. He’s physical at the catch point and as a downhill player, bringing the desire as a hitter both in support on the run and as a blitzer on the edge. Still, Ringo needs to match his physical prowess with a better perspective on mental processing, being able to react quicker to the receiver coming off his breaks and relying less on guesswork and using his athleticism to make up for any mishaps. cover.

Looking at Ringo, I see similarities to former NFL CB and longtime Jacksonville Jaguar Rashean Mathis. Mathis enjoyed a productive NFL after being drafted in the second round in 2003 from Bethune – Cookman College, and was named Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro in 2006. Mathis was a ballhawk, catching 32 assists in his career as a ‘opportunistic. CB who had the height and length (6’1, 202lb) as well as the athleticism just like Ringo to thrive on the outside. Mathis was also a willing tackle, having eight forced fumbles under his belt.

He’ll need to stay healthy and build on his impressive 2021 campaign to capture CB1 status next spring, but Ringo will be shortlisted to be the top CB picked in the 2023 NFL Draft. For Pittsburgh, they have multiple options at the CB position, but lack that true No. 1 stopper CB on the roster, fielding multiple capable CB2s. With Sutton slated for free agency and Wallace and Witherspoon on short-term deals, the Steelers could opt to target Ringo if he’s around for their draft pick next spring. Ultimately, Ringo is a talented player who will almost certainly be of interest to Pittsburgh if he declares early whether he is refining the more technical aspects of his game in 2022.

Projection: First day

Games watched: vs. Kentucky (2021), vs. Alabama (2021-SEC), vs. Alabama (2021-CFP)

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