Over the next nine days, we'll profile players in the draft, focusing primarily on players the Jets may choose in the first round (16th overall).
Player: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Height/weight: 6-foot-1 1/2, 264 pounds
Scouts, Inc. ranking: 12th
Draft projection: First round (seventh to 16th)
Scouting report: Ingram is one of the most intriguing players in the draft because he can play so many positions -- DE, OLB and DT. I spoke to one scout who said Ingram can be a 4-3 MLB. A creative defensive coordinator could have a field day with him, lining him up in different spots. The Jets really like Ingram, perhaps enough to trade up a few spots. He's a fluid athlete with excellent wheels. (He was a 225-pound point guard in high school.) He scored three TDs last season, including a 68-yard run on a fake punt. The other two TDs were fumble recoveries. He ran the 40 in 4.71 seconds and his 10-yard split is 1.61, which shows his burst. The knock on Ingram is that he has short arms (31 1/2 inches). That may not seem like a big deal, but a pass rusher with short arms often struggles to disengage from blockers. He has been training with Broncos LB Von Miller.
Key Stat: He played four seasons at South Carolina, but started only one year, finishing with 21.5 sacks (10 last season).
Red flags: Missed the 2008 season with a broken foot.
In his own words: (On not starting until last season) "Just coming in, (I was) in a situation where there was somebody else better than me. I had to play my role on the team. I did whatever the team needed me to do. At that point and time it wasn't for me to be a starter ... I feel like playing so many roles helped me. I feel like my coach gave me the opportunity to show my athletic ability in every way."