Posted Fri Feb 10th by Christopher Hart
Afternoon, Broncos fans. Today will be the beginning of a segment I call Prospect Perspective. In this series I will highlight potential targets of interest eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. The first entry will be dedicated to one of college football’s most dynamic defenders over the past several seasons — South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram.
Melvin Ingram started out his football career in South Carolina as an outside linebacker, before making the switch to defensive end. Ingram also took a great deal of snaps as a defensive tackle in 2011 — displaying the ability to play all over the field for Steve Spurrier. After the switch, Ingram posted some of the best numbers in the country and became the stalwart leader of the Gamecock’s defense, emerging as a full-time starter in 2011. Below is an overview of Ingram’s statistics during his colliegate career.
|Career Statistics for Melvin Ingram|
What the table doesn’t show is Ingram’s uncanny playmaking ability. In his senior season alone, Ingram scored two touchdowns, had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and even scored on special teams. There aren’t any many players in this class who offer Ingram’s versatility and intensity to the game in this draft class. Enjoy Ingram’s 2011 Highlight Reel and witness the impact for yourself!
Strengths: Tremendous pass-rusher with a wide array of moves. Uses his hands well and places them under the shoulder pads of defenders, which allows him to keep his ground against the run. Versatile defender with schematic versatility — with the ability to play defensive tackle on passing downs. Has good hip and lateral movement for a big man. Creates turnovers and is a quality player on special teams. A team leader with great work ethic and no off the field concerns.
Weaknesses: Marginal explosion off the line of scrimmage, which may impact his ability to be consistent rushing the passer in the NFL. Does not have elite athleticism and may have trouble defending elite tight ends in coverage and running backs out of the flat. Tackling technique needs improving, as he is poised to make the big hit than wrap and drive-through the ball carrier.
Injuries: Broken Foot (2008 Redshirt) and Broken Hand (2010) — No long-term injury concerns.
Round Projection: First-Round
How He Fits in Denver: Ingram has physical similarities to ends Everette Brown and Charles Johnson, both of which were drafted by John Fox in his time with the Panters. The Broncos have Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers starting at end, but Ingram would see significant playing time on passing downs inside and would have the ability to push Ayers for a starting position. While the Broncos have bigger needs on the defensive side of the ball, Ingram would be a tremendous value selection with their first-round selection as a player who will make an impact defensively and on special teams. Ingram’s best fit may come as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, but do not doubt his ability to be an everydown defender for a 4-3 squad in the NFL.
Compares To: LaMarr Woodley, OLB — Pittsburgh Steelers