Russ Lande of the Sporting News reports that South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram has enjoyed a very strong week of practices at the Senior Bowl in Mobile Alabama, strengthening the odds that he will be a first round selection in April’s NFL Draft. The 6’2″, 276 pound All-American had 48 tackles, 10 sacks, and two interceptions for the Gamecocks last year.
The Ball Says: Lande described Ingram as having a “rare combination of quickness, agility and power closing”, and with his solid showing to this point in Mobile not only is Melvin Ingram almost certainly a first round pick but it’s quite possible that he won’t last past the middle of the round.
What makes Ingram even more appealing for IDP purposes is that there’s little to no chance that Ingram will end up as a 3-4 outside linebacker, making him quite possibly the most desirable rookie defensive lineman heading into 2012 for fantasy purposes.
Generally speaking it’s more exception than rule for a defensive lineman to make a significant fantasy impact in his first season, but it’s been done before, and (as is usually the case with rookie IDPs) the situation that Ingram finds himself in 2012 will go a long way towards determining his redraft value.
Should he find a landing spot that offers significant playing time early he could offer low-end IDP DL2 value for next season, and while being chosen by a team that might ease Melvin Ingram in a bit could relegate him to late-round flier status in redraft IDP formats (where he could be a steal should opportunity knock later in the year) he’ll certainly be among the first rookies at his position off the board this summer for fantasy owners looking towards the future.