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2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram (Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE)

Editor’s Note: As we get ready for the 2012 NFL Draft, we’ll be “meeting” some players who just might find their way to Buffalo come April. In this series we’ll take a look at possible Bills draft picks and break down their abilities and potential.

Overview: The versatile, athletic Ingram was a productive pass rusher in college. Will his game translate to the NFL?

Strengths: Versatile enough to fit in as a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE. Big enough (278 pounds) to hold up wherever you put him – he’s even slid inside to play tackle on occasion. Strong enough to handle NFL linemen. Has a nice variety of pass-rush moves and is absolutely relentless on each play. Super high motor and never takes plays off. Holds the edge well against the run. Gets off blocks to make plays. Productive in the rugged SEC.

Weaknesses: Not a full-time starter until this season, functioning as a pass-rush specialist before that. Instincts and recognition skills are a work in progress. He has dropped into coverage, but it’s not clear he could cover NFL backs. Slower off the snap than you’d hope, which loses him some battles before the play even really starts. A big hitter, but not a consistent tackler – needs to wrap up better

How He’d Fit in Buffalo: The Bills will run a variety of defensive looks in 2012, and Ingram’s versatility would be a big plus. There’s certainly room for a pass-rushing 4-3 defensive end on this roster.

The Bottom Line: Ingram’s got some question marks, but he’s flying up the draft boards. Producing in the SEC will do that. I’m not in love with him, but he’s got some upside and it’d be hard to get upset if Buddy Nix makes him the Bills’ first-round pick.

Previously:

Stanford OT Jonathan Martin

Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples 

Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw

Iowa OT Riley Reiff

Boston College LB Luke Kuechly

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