In our annual 32 picks in 32 days CSNPhilly.com mock draft, we select one player each day until the start of the NFL draft on April 26.
18. Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DELB, South Carolina, 6-2276
Hit snooze on that alarm clock one more time San Diego, because if things play out like they have in our mock draft, this is pretty much a dream scenario for the Bolts. South Carolinas Melvin Ingram really shouldnt be available here at the 18th selection.
On Sundays, Ingram projects to be a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker. In the Chargers 3-4, Ingram can immediately breathe life into their front seven and come off the edge to attack quarterbacks or disrupt the running game. The first-team all-American played with his hand on the ground in college, and could be called on to do that in the occasional, pass situation set. But, with his limited height, weight and arm length, the better fit is at linebacker.
The tape for any first round NFL talent is going to impress, but Ingrams athleticism is what really stands out in his highlights. When hes not flattening quarterbacks or making impressive interceptions, Ingram is dropping your jaw with a fake punt for a touchdown between the hedges or showing his versatility on the hands team, sealing a win with an onside kick recovery.
Even with Vincent Jacksons departure to Tampa Bay, the offense around Philip Rivers should be successful. So, San Diego is looking for any spark to take their defense out of the bottom-third in sacks. The 2011 Chargers finished 6-8, but only one of those losses occurred when the Bolts held their opponent to under 23 points. Adding an elite defender like Ingram will be a nice boost to a team needing balance.
Rob Michel is a producer at Comcast SportsNet. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org