Eagles CB Kelee Ringo could be auditioning for a starting role in the secondary next year

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Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles are an 11-win team coming into the final two weeks of the regular season, but it hasn’t all been pretty. With every cloud comes a silver lining, however, and with Darius Slay temporarily out of action, rookie CB Kelee Ringo has stepped up to the plate in a big way for the Birds.

Eagles pass defense turns a new leaf

The pass defense in Philadelphia has been suspect all year. The cornerbacks have been battered and bruised and injuries have ravaged the position at varying times throughout the season. When it was announced that Darius Slay would miss multiple weeks due to a minor surgery, optimism surrounding potential replacements was minimal. Not because of a lack of talent, but more a lack of experience.

Kelee Ringo had only played in 23 defensive snaps prior to the loss against Seattle. 22 of those came against the Cowboys in the week prior, where he was somehow double-penalized on a single play. However, there were at a few reasons to be excited, with Ringo using his impressive blend of athleticism and frame on numerous occasions to win his individual matchup.

Kelee Ringo steps up to the plate

His first NFL start would come against the aforementioned Seahawks.

He was targeted twice in the loss but broke up one of those passes and didn’t allow a completion. His confidence in pass-coverage was a huge positive in an otherwise dreary loss, especially after what happened just one week beforehand. Ringo was targeted twice in the defeat but broke up one of those passes and didn’t allow a completion.

On Christmas Day, Ringo would be called on again. He lined up against the New York Giants with hopes of building on what had been a steady improvement over the last 3 weeks. He was targeted 3 times, allowing only 9 yards on 2 receptions. The other target just so happened to be a game-sealing interception against Tyrod Taylor.

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles safety Kevin Byard (31) is congratulated by teammates after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kelee Ringo’s ability to hold his own and be a breath of fresh air for the defense has to be noted. At just 21 years of age, there is a lot of developmental upside. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, with the Georgia product having shined brightly on a dominant Bulldogs defense just one year before being drafted by the Eagles.

Do the Eagles have a star in Kelee Ringo?

In 2022, he made 42 tackles along with 2 picks and 7 pass breakups for the Bulldogs. coverages. He has long been a versatile corner who can pass-off deep routes, drop back into deep coverage with ease, and cover large chunks of space due to his range and quickness, and that has all translated to the NFL level.

While it might be too soon to jump the gun and proclaim Kelee Ringo as the next franchise CB for the Eagles to hang their hat on, the confidence shown over his first real games at the NFL level has been beyond impressive. And with questions over James Bradberry and Darius Slay heading into the offseason, it’s hard to really disagree with the notion that it would benefit the Eagles to at least give Kelee Ringo a chance to earn his stripes.

If he continues to play at the level he is, there is every chance he can throw his name into the hat for a starting role in 2024. These last few games before Darius Slay returns from injury are likely going to play a key role in that evaluation process. It’s time for Ringo to audition to become Philadelphia’s next ‘Starr’.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire