2009 NFL Draft: Denver Has A Nice Ring To It

Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber has learned that Michigan State running back Javon Ringer will have a private workout with an AFC West team this week and visit two more teams in the AFC during the first week of April. Find out who inside.

The eventful offseason for the Denver Broncos continues next week as Scout.com confirmed that a Broncos offensive coach will travel to Michigan State to work out former Spartans running back Javon Ringer on Tuesday, March 24th.

The 5-foot-9, 203-pound Ringer, who was mostly known as a change of pace back prior to the 2008 season, was the featured back for the Spartans this past season and thrived in that role. He had a career year and rushed for 1,637 yards on a workhorse-like 390 carries and 22 touchdowns.

Towards the end of the season, during the Michigan game where he had 37 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns, Ringer tore the meniscus in his left knee. But he decided to play through the pain and finish out the season. His production dropped off during the final four games of the year, but he’s a gamer and wanted to finish out his career at Michigan State on the field.

It doesn't seem likely that Ringer will be drafted by Denver, but his skills fit their system perfectly.
AP/Darron Cummings

Ringer had surgery shortly after the season and missed the Senior Bowl. But he showed up at the Scouting Combine ready to perform and had a solid performance overall. It was obvious that Ringer wasn’t 100-percent at the Combine, as he turned in a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash. So, at his Pro Day on March 18th, he decided to run again. Still not completely healthy for his Pro Day, Ringer improved his time and was clocked between a 4.42 – 4.47.

The improved 40-time showed scouts that his knee is healing and that he’s close to being 100-percent, but it was his 3-cone drill (6.68 – 6.75) and shuttle times (3.72 – 3.84) that showcased his quickness and agility. His display during those dreams received rave reviews and prompted one scout in attendance to say, “In my 20 years scouting players, I haven’t seen a player complete the shuttle and 3-cone like that.”

“With my torn meniscus, I fought through it and I didn’t miss a game,” Ringer said, during a recent Q&A with Scout.com that will be released this week. “And now, I did my rehab and God has blessed me to come back stronger and better than I was before. I’m still not 100-percent right now, but I’m doing tremendous and I’m able to put up some really good numbers. I’m blessed, and whoever drafts me will definitely be getting a blessed individual. I have a lot of faith in God, and he’s helped me out tremendously with all of my past injuries.”

Year after year, the Broncos seem to have an abundance of talent at the running back position. They dealt with a lot of injuries last year and were reduced to a running back by committee approach. This offseason, after releasing a few of their running backs, the Broncos signed Correll Buckhalter, J.J. Arrington and LaMont Jordan as free agents. Prior to those signings, the Broncos already had Ryan Torain, Selvin Young, Cory Boyd and Peyton Hillis under contract. But all four of those players suffered season-ending injuries at certain points last year.

With those seven players competing for roster spots, it doesn’t seem likely that the Broncos will draft a running back high in the draft. But since Ringer is projected to be a third round prospect, a player with his resume, who’s used to sharing the spotlight, is an attractive proposition because of his versatility and toughness.

In addition to his workout with the Broncos this week, Scout.com also confirmed that Ringer will visit the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers during the first week of April.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com.

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