NFL Draft: San Diego Chargers First-Round Pick Is…
“With the 18th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select…Melvin Ingram, Linebacker, South Carolina.”
That was the announcement that was made by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last night at Radio City Music Hall.
Like most Chargers fans, I couldn’t be more excited about this pick.
The team’s two biggest needs going into the first round were finding a pass rusher or safety. With Mark Barron off the board, the Chargers selected the best pass rusher available and that just so happened to be my number 1 ranked pass rusher in the entire Draft.
But what will he bring to the team? Let’s find out.
Pass Rush: Ingram’s biggest strength is his ability to rush the passer. He’s had an impressive 19 sacks during his last two seasons with South Carolina and was also named a first team all-american last year.
Versatility: For his Rookie season at least, it’s his versatility that will help out the Chargers the most. Along with being a third down pass rusher, Ingram can also be used on special teams and don’t be surprised to see him line up in a few fake punt formations this season.
Size: The biggest question mark about Ingram is his size. At 6 ft 1 and 264 lbs, some scouts have questioned his ability to play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense but I’m confident that he should be able to make the switch.
Transition to Linebacker: He is coming from a system in college where he was playing as a 4-3 defensive end and will now be asked to make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker. For some players, the transition can be rather easy, (see Aldon Smith) for others not so much (see Larry English).
What will his role be?
Defense: Ingram will likely be used as the team’s premier pass rusher during his Rookie season. Although he isn’t likely to see as much playing time as Shaun Phillips or Jarret Johnson, don’t be surprised to see him have 10 sacks this season.
Special Teams: Last season against Georgia, Ingram returned a 68 yard fake punt for a touchdown. Simply put, this sounds like the type of player that the Chargers could use on special teams.
Overview: The Chargers selected what many scouts considered to be the best pass rusher in the Draft and didn’t have to trade up to do so. My early verdict couldn’t possibly be much better.
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Thanks for reading.