Gamecocks in the Draft: Melvin Ingram Helping His Stock at the Senior Bowl

As most of you know, Melvin Ingram is projected to be the first Gamecock off board at this year's NFL Draft. He's currently practicing in preparation for the Senior Bowl, the Mobile, AL event that is considered the premier senior all-star game. The Senior Bowl is one of the first showcases of the pre-draft season; the event is as much an opportunity for scouts to get a good look at the players as it is about the game itself. To that end, Ingram has done nothing but help himself this week. The Sporting News's Russ Lande had this to say about the Gamecocks sack machine:

Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina, 6-2, 276, 4.75 (South). Ingram was impressive for the second consecutive day. He is explosive off the ball and sudden with his initial movements, which makes it difficult for offensive linemen to sustain their blocks on him. He displayed an excellent variety of pass-rush moves during the one-on-one period to consistently beat the offensive tackle. He has a rare combination of quickness, agility and power closing. If he continues playing at this level the rest of the week and has a strong spring, we are confident Ingram will end up as a first-round pick.

The reviews Ingram is getting have some NFL fans excited.

One of the stories for Ingram going into the draft is whether or not he is best suited to play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4. Ingram has done a bit to answer that question with his performance:

"The debate right now is exactly where to play him," Detillier said. "I think most people think he’s probably best suited for the 3-4 outside linebacker spot. He was very explosive and showed a lot of want-to and a lot of aggression. He just played hard all week long. He has the athletic ability to come off the edge and brings havoc."

How much Ingram's play in Mobile will help his status remains to be seen. The Senior Bowl is only one piece of the buildup to the draft, so Ingram will have to continue to impress to cement his status as a mid-first-round pick. However, if nothing else, he's certainly proving that the hype is for real, and with that he's building up some momentum going into the rest of the pre-draft fun.
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