Vikings Draft Thermometer: CB Kelee Ringo

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) looks on during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we will be examining a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform. With that, let’s take a look at today’s prospect: Georgia CB Kelee Ringo.

Background

Vikings Draft Thermometer: CB Kelee Ringo
Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • School Georgia
  • Games Watched: Alabama (2021), Oregon (2022), Tennessee (2022), LSU (2022)

Statistics

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) celebrates after a victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2020: N/A (torn labrum)
  • 2021: 34 tackles, 1 TFL, 1.0 sack, 8 PDs, 2 INTs (14 games)
  • 2022: 42 tackles, 2 TFLs, 7 PDs, 2 INTs, 1 FF (15 games)

Strengths

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) tackles Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Julian Fleming (4) of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If you like big cornerbacks, this is the draft class for you. One of the premiere CBs in that group is Georgia Bulldog Kelee Ringo. At 6’2 and over 200 pounds, Ringo is a dominant force with his physical prowess. The redshirt sophomore is at his best when he can play press man coverage, and he uses elite speed to keep himself draped all over any receiver.

Ringo was a state champion in both 100m and 200m in track during his high school days, so speed comes very naturally to him on the football field. His ability to keep up with elite collegiate receivers like Jameson Williams (the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft) is very evident on his tape.

Weaknesses

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) makes a catch for a touchdown against Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the second quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For all the upside that Ringo brings with his physicality and athletic skillset, he still has a good amount of development to go. In particular, his physical style of play can very quickly become a detriment as he gets a bit too handsy, especially at the catch point. In the games I watched, there were multiple flags for getting too aggressive with receivers that resulted in either defensive holding or DPI.

Additionally, his instincts in zone coverage could use some improvement. He’s very good in man for all the reasons listed above, but particularly in zone, he seems to have a tough time tracking both the ball and his man.

Finally, despite having some very physically imposing size on his side, there are instances where he has trouble shedding blocks. This becomes a problem when he’s trying to wrap up receivers on a screen or in run support.

NFL Projection

Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) is hit after his reception by Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Round: Mid-Late First
  • Immediate Role: Starting Outside CB
  • Best Case Scenario: Xavier Rhodes
  • Vikings Draft Temperature: (0= no interest, 100= get him a purple jersey now): 70

If the Vikings want to go corner, there’s at least a decent chance that they could land Ringo with the No. 23 pick in the first round, especially if others go before him. However, there’s a very good chance that some team will fall in love with his great physical skills and take him earlier in the draft. If that’s the case, there should be more opportunities to take a defender that can provide immediate help in the first round or later on in the draft.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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