The San Diego Chargers, somewhat unexpectedly, took a patient approach to the draft and came with one of the potential steals of the 1st round.
There were rumors that the Chargers were interested in trading up for Mark Barron, which would have been a desperation move in what may be the final year of the A.J. Smith/Norv Turner era. But they stayed put and ended up with Melvin Ingram, who could have an even bigger impact on the Chargers defense.
The pairing of Ingram and Shaun Phillips gives the Chargers two quality pass rushers, something which they have been lacking since Shawne Merriman began to decline.
This was a dream scenario for the San Diego Chargers. They needed to add another pass rusher, but no one expected Melvin Ingram to be on the board at this point draft.
Ingram already has experience playing with his hand off the ground which should ease his transition into the Chargers 3-4 defense. His versatility could also allow the Chargers to get a little more creative on defensive if they have any interest in morphing into more of a hybrid defense, rather than the pure 3-4 which they have run in recent years.
It has been widely reported that the New York Jets have Trent Richardson at the top of their draft board. It has also been reported that the top pass rusher on their board in Melvin Ingram.
Neither player is going to be on the board at No.16, which means the Jets will need to trade up to land one of their primary targets, and they’re prepared to do just that.
The Jaguars, who own the 7th pick, are a likely trade partner. If they move up to No. 7, the Jets would target Ingram with that selection.
In order to move up into the top 10, the Jets will need to part with their 1st and 2nd round picks this year, and likely another mid-round pick (3rd or 4th round) in 2013.
At this point it sounds as though it’s only a matter of “when” rather than “if” the Jets move up.
According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, the New York Jets are interested in trading up in the 1st round for Melvin Ingram.
To land Ingram the Jets may need to move into the top 10 (Pauline suggests the Jaguars as a potential trade partner). It would be a bold move, but one that makes sense if the Jets feel as though they are a pass rusher away from contending for the Super Bowl.
Taking Ingram in the top 10 may be a slight reach, but I can’t fault the Jets for moving up to land their guy. This is a fairly weak class of pass rushers, and a team on the verge of contention can always justify moving up to fill their most glaring hole.
Now that the Buffalo Bills have fully committed to the 4-3 defense – after two years stuck somewhere in between schemes – mock drafts are popping up all over the internet with the Bills linked to a defensive end.
The most popular choice seems to be Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw, who played a hybrid linebacker/end role for the Crimson Tide.
Upshaw has 1st-round talent, but would be a reach in the top 10.
While I certainly understand the logic behind the Upshaw/Bills connection, I don’t think he’s a great fit in Buffalo.
As much as I like Upshaw, he shouldn’t be in the top 10 of any draft board belonging to a team which runs the 4-3 defense. He can be an effective pass rusher in that system, but he struggles against the run. He simply lacks the strength to consistently shed blocks, especially when he’s lined up at the point of attack.
That’s not to say he can’t start at defensive end at the next level, but the Bills could get much better value at No. 10. As a defensive end, Upshaw compares favorably to a guy like Jabaal Sheard. He a solid pass rusher, and holds his own in the run game, but not someone you want to build your defensive line around.
If the Bills are committed to improving their defensive line in this draft, their best strategy may be to trade down. This isn’t a great class of ends at the top, but there are up to seven prospects who could warrant mid-to-late 1st round picks. The Bills could potentially slide back a few slots and still land a guy like Nick Perry or Melvin Ingram, both of whom fit into the 4-3 scheme better than Upshaw.