There will always be high expectations for first round NFL draft picks. That’s especially true of players taken in the first round who have won the Heisman trophy. Mark Ingram, is one of those guys. Ingram enters the 2013 season with much to prove, as he’s yet to live up to the hype of being the New Orleans Saints‘ first-rounder back in 2011.
It’s not like his career has been horrible so far, but he really hasn’t shown fans anything that indicates he can be a featured reliable back, long-term, for the franchise. That should change in 2013, as the New Orleans’ depth chart has been cleared out a bit at running back. Ingram will start the season as the team’s number two RB, but he should get plenty of opportunities to possibly become the number one guy as the season progress.
But for at least the beginning of the season, Ingram figures to split carries with Pierre Thomas, while Darren Sproles gets occasional touches as well.
The Saints clearly like to have multiple backs to hand the ball off to, but that makes it hard for individual players to emerge. Ingram will have to make the most of his opportunities, otherwise, he’ll be destined for another season like his first two. So far he’s only averaging about 538 yards per season in limited action. We all know the 23-year old his capable of much more than that. It’s Ingram’s time to shine this season, or he could become a complimentary back for the rest of his career.