NFL Draft Profile: Looking At Melvin Ingram

Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Melvin Ingram (24) waits his turn for the vertical jump during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

It has been a little while, but khodder is back with his prospect profiles. Let us look at Melvin Ingram, who happens to be a favorite of many of the readers here.

Height: 6'141/3"
Weight: 264
40 Yard Dash: 4.79
Projection: 1st Round
NFL Comparison: James Harrison - Pittsburgh Steelers

Games Seen: Nebraska, Auburn, Clemson (All 2011)

Strengths: Ingram is a special athlete and it shows on the field, has a great first step and incredible change of direction skills for a man of his size, seems to hit top speed after one or two steps. Can disrupt passing lanes with his ability to get off the ground and get his hands in the air. Is a violent hitter if given the chance to square up and drive though the ballcarrier. Is comfortable and fluid in space and has spent a fair portion of time in coverage over the past year, keeps his head on a swivel. Flashes a very impressive inside spin move from right to left and gets a lot of his pressure using this move. Versatile, rushed from the 2 point stance quite often as well as playing at both end spots and playing some defensive tackle in passing situations. Has a solid repertoire of rushing moves, but does not always use them, and they are not consistently effective. Shows a willingness to play gap control in the running game and was often asked to play read and react football at South Carolina rather than just being able to pin his ears back and rush the passer.

Weakness: Very inconsistent in his reading of the game, can be easily fooled by playaction or the option game taking him out of the play. His short arms hinder his ability to get off blocks, and once he gets into contact he often never gets away from it, this is further magnified by his poor hand use. Is not a player who gets consistent pressure, but usually gets a sack when he does make it through. Did most of his damage rushing the passer against guards from the defensive tackle position and was not consistently able to get the edge. Plays upright into contact and loses the leverage battle in the running game often getting pushed off the ball and away from the play. Was only a one year starter at South Carolina, though he played a big role in 2010 as a pass rusher.

Overall: Ingram has all the athletic talent one could want from an outside pass rusher, but he is still very raw technically. His change of direction skills are incredible for a man of his size and his inside spin move is going to help him beat a lot of offensive linemen in the NFL. He needs to develop his hand use and make teams respect his outside rush more. He is almost the polar opposite of most 3-4 OLB prospects in that he is going to be comfortable dropping into coverage early in his career, but still needs to do a lot of refining on his pass rushing. His best fit is going to be as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, and will likely struggle if asked to play 43 end in the NFL. His best attributes right now are his athleticism and versatility; a creative co-ordinator will be able to work wonders with Ingram. Expect to hear his name called in the teens come April, the Jets seem like a great fit for his talents.

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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