Head Coach John Fox likes to cite the importance of "swing backups" who can play multiple positions on the offensive line, and Ramirez has shown the intelligence and flexibility to grasp the nuances of the guard and center positions, while also emerging as a quiet leader. How he fares in his starting gig at center is to be determined -- one game is not a large enough sample size for judgment -- although his improvement through three games of the preseason and his performance against the Ravens justifies optimism.
Ramirez also offers stability, which is crucial to the overall composition of the line, both on the first and second units. Here, it's important to note the contract situations along the offensive line, particularly at the three interior spots.
While right guard
That's a lot of uncertainty with injuries and contracts for a key area of the team. But in the last six months, the Broncos have signed Vasquez, re-signed left tackle
Should Ramirez blossom with further experience at center, the Broncos have found a bargain that brings them a step closer to long-term offensive-line stability, while also preventing a need from arising for next year's draft. If Ramirez struggles and eventually returns to the second team, the Broncos still have a swing backup who has starting experience at two spots on their offensive line.
Either way, the Broncos have a valuable commodity.