Editor’s Note: This post is from new Black and Teal writer Scott Sandlin. Scott’s take on the draft may just be accurate. But hey, that’s for you all and Gene Smith to decide. Please welcome him to the community!
It is a well known fact by this point that the Jaguars are most likely leaning toward taking a Defensive End with their 7th overall pick next month. Many mock drafts have the Jaguars taking Quinton Coples out of North Carolina. Coples is the number one DE prospect on almost every big board in the country because of what many analysts call his “amazing potential”.
However, something that many of these mock drafts are over-looking is who is in charge of making the decision on who the Jaguars choose as the 7th pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. That man, of course, is Gene Smith. We all have grown to learn that Gene is a huge fan of good character and strong work ethic. It just so happens that good character and strong work ethic are the two main concerns that people have about Quinton Coples. His drop in sacks, tackles for loss, and total tackles in his final year at North Carolina are causing questions about the type of player Coples will be. This is why I believe that the Jaguars will be taking a very strong look at Melvin Ingram out of South Carolina.
What he brings to the table:
- Stats: Ingram did it all last season for the Gamecocks. He registered 10 sacks, 48 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and even 3 touchdowns. At the combine, Ingram out-performed Coples in every drill except the broad jump (in which they tied). There are some concerns with him only being a starter at South Carolina for one season, but during that season he lead his team in sacks (3rd in the SEC), and was second among tackles for loss.
- Versatility: One of the most appealing aspects of Melvin Ingram is the fact that he can play both OLB and DE. With all the injuries last season, the Jags proved that having versatility is essential if you’re going to be a Jacksonville Jaguar. Ingram has also been quoted saying, “Wherever they point me, I’m ready to go there,” which is music to any GM’s ears.
- Toughness: During his junior year, Melvin Ingram suffered a broken hand early in the game against Vanderbilt. This however did not stop him from later coming back into the game, as well as playing in all seven of the remaining games during that season.
Why we should be happy if we get him:
- Plain and simple, Melvin Ingram is a great football player. He’s got good speed, phenomenal strength, and has great moves to get around linemen. From a character standpoint, he’s as good as they come. He’s the type of player that works day in and day out to become better. When you draft a player like Ingram, you’re drafting a player that will give you a solid 10 years in the league.
- It seems as if Ingram’s potential is often overlooked compared to some of the other prospects in the draft. Just remember, even though he’s not labeled as the player with “amazing potential,” does not mean that he lacks the potential to be an elite player in the league.
- I know many people are expecting to see Quinton Coples be the 7th person to walk across that stage next month, and that very well may be what happens. But then again, no one saw Tyson Alualu’s name being called at the 10th spot two years ago.
Happy Draft season!