INDIANAPOLIS - Every year we enter the Combine process with a few guys that we like. One of my favorites this year was South Carolina's Melvin Ingram.
I watched Ingram play several times this season and he was an impact player virtually every time. His athleticism coming off the edge was eye-popping and he is the kind of player I hope the Patriots have interest in, although at 6-1 he's a bit shorter than they normally like for their edge players.
Then Ingram stepped to the podium and my enthusiasm for him only increased. He was poised and professional while also showing quite a bit of personality and a sense of humor.
Among the things Ingram revealed:
- When asked if he had any preferences in terms of position or team Ingram replied, "My preference is to have the opportunity to play in the NFL."
- He's been working out with reigning rookie Defensive Player of the Year Von Miller in California. "We're similar body types and we really try to compete with each other. I try to pattern myself after him." When asked if he compares favorably to Miller Ingram replied with a wide smile, "I pray to God I do."
- Ingram is immensely athletic, as evidenced by his ability to complete a standing back flip. When was the last time he accomplished the feat? "A couple of weeks ago. [Miller] said he didn't think I could."
- He was a high school point guard during his prep basketball days while standing 6-1 but weighing almost 50 pounds lighter. What kind of point guard was he? "I was a scorer."
Just a good-natured, hard-working kid. And he just happens to have the ability to rush the passer. He's by no means conventional - he's played virtually everywhere along the front seven for South Carolina - but I'm guessing Ingram will find a way to be productive somewhere in the NFL. Here's hoping it's in New England.