Melvin Ingram was the 18th pick for the San Diego Chargers in round one of the 2012 NFL Draft. Ingram played for the South Carolina Gamecocks in college and was moved from linebacker to defensive end during his collegiate career. Ingram had nine sacks in 12 games during the 2010 season while he had 10 sacks, 15 tackles that resulted in a loss of yards and two interceptions in 13 games during the 2011 season.
Ingram was moved to linebacker because of San Diego’s 3-4 defense which includes three defensive linemen and four linebackers. Also, on the night of the draft, NFL scouts said Ingram has short arms which could make it difficult for him to play on the defensive line at the professional level. According to profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, Ingram studied the outside linebacker and defensive end positions last week.
According to the team’s official website, Ingram is listed at the linebacker position. San Diego signed OLB Jarret Johnson to a four year deal during the off-season, Shaun Phillips plays OLB as does Antwan Barnes who led the team in sacks and was tied for 11th among all players in this category last season.
San Diego had 32 sacks as a team in 2011 which was tied for 23rd with the Cleveland Browns among all teams. Ingram is more likely to play linebacker due to being listed at the position on San Diego’s team website. However, it might make more sense to put him on the defensive line due to the depth that San Diego has at the OLB position. Ingram should help the Chargers improve on their pass rush no matter which position he plays. If San Diego gets more pressure on teams, they could also improve on forcing fumbles as they had seven forced fumbles in 2011 which was tied with the Oakland Raiders for last in the league.