Jacksonville Jaguars dubbed top landing spot for Melvin Ingram following the Draft
Edge rusher was one of the Jacksonville Jaguars' biggest needs in the 2023 NFL Draft and they sort of addressed it when they took defensive end Tyler Lacy and outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah in Rounds 4 and 5, respectively. However, the Jags could still give another boost to their pass rush if they signed someone like Melvin Ingram, who's remained unsigned. In fact, Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus thinks Jacksonville is the ideal destination for the three-time Pro Bowl nod.
Spielberger recently put together a list of the best landing spots for the best remaining free agents following the conclusion of this year's draft. He thinks the Jaguars would be an ideal fit for Ingram, citing his ability to consistently create pressure up front and Jacskonville's need for another rotation piece in their pass rush.
"Ingram has been a pillar of consistency for his whole career, recording nine straight seasons with a 70.0-plus pass-rush grade. A year after Ingram was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately became their best edge defender for the stretch run, he signed a steal of a one-year deal with the Dolphins and once again played at a very high level, far outpacing his compensation."
A first-round pick by the Los Angeles (then San Diego) Chargers in 2012, Ingram has been highly productive throughout his career, racking up 57 sacks with 407 total tackles, 16 forced fumbles and three interceptions throughout his career. Although he's become more of a rotational player at this stage of his career, he still does a good job of getting after the quarterback.
Besides suiting up for the Chargers, Ingram has also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and most recently, with the Miami Dolphins.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should have OLB Melvin Ingram on speed dial
Just last year, Ingram appeared in 17 games with three starts for the Phins and logged six sacks and a forced fumble. He played on 45 percent of their defensive snaps and could have a similar tally in Jacksonville.
The biggest roadblock to striking a deal with Ingram would be his salary demands. Last year, he inked a one-year deal worth $4 million with $1.65 million in guarantees. He might be looking for a similar amount this year and it's uncertain if the Jaguars are willing to fork out that kind of money.
Keep in mind that the Jags were reportedly interested in setting up a reunion with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who spent four seasons with them before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. If they fail to reach an agreement, Ingram would then turn into a solid fallback.
At this stage of their respective careers, Ngakoue is younger and more productive -- 9.5 sacks in the last two seasons -- than Ingram but he's also more expensive, so Jacksonville would need to put things in a balance and decide who's the best option of the two.
In the end, you can never have enough pass rushers and even though the Jags drafted Abdullah and Lacy to fortify their front seven, they might not have an impact right away. That's where a proven commodity such as Ingram could come in handy.