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NFL Arizona Cardinals

San Diego Chargers select Melvin Ingram in round one of the 2012 NFL Draft

The San Diego Chargers chose former South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Melvin Ingram with the 18th overall pick in round one the 2012 NFL Draft.  The 6-2, 276 pound DE finished his 2011 season with 10 sacks.  Ingram brings a dynamic to San Diego that the team desperately needs because he also has experience at defensive tackle, outside linebacker and has the ability to occasionally return kicks.  San Diego ranked 30th among NFL teams in terms of getting pressure on quarterbacks with five or more rushers as they only had seven sacks in these situations during the 2011 season.

I thought San Diego would go with former Illinois Fighting Illini defensive end Whitney Mercilus who fell to the Houston Texans at number 26.  Ingram is still a great choice because San Diego needs someone else to put pressure on QBs since Antwan Barnes led the team with 11 sacks and the defensive linemen combined for 11.5 sacks.  This will allow the Chargers to come up with different defensive schemes, which will benefit a pass defense that held their own.

The downsides to Ingram are his short arms, getting off the snap and his inability to force turnovers as he had no forced fumbles in 2011.  Former first round pick Larry English was on pace for six sacks in 2010 and six sacks in 2011, but only appeared in eight and five games respectively those seasons. Corey Liuget could begin to come into his own this season, which will go a long way in the success of San Diego’s defensive pressure along with Barnes and Ingram.