ESPN's Todd McShay had high praise for Alabama running back Mark Ingram during a conference call Thursday:
"He’s one guy that really belongs in the first round. …He is so instinctive," said McShay. "And the three things that really jump out, the instincts, the lateral quickness -- he just feels a hole opening and is able to get in and out of it so quickly. And then, finally, the yards after contact, just the way he runs with his pad level and anticipating contact, he is so good in that area. ... Everyone’s comparing him to Emmitt Smith. Usually, I’d try to find something different and unique. I just think it’s a perfect comparison because Emmitt Smith didn’t have all the great measurables coming out, but obviously, went on to have one of the most productive rushing careers of any back in NFL history."
No, Smith had the most productive rushing career in NFL history -- if you're into total yards. No one's really talking about running back in this draft, but keep a close eye on New York Giants GM Jerry Reese. I don't think Ingram will be available at No. 19, but if he is, I believe the Giants would pounce. They drafted Ingram's father, Mark Sr., in the first round in 1987 and he helped Bill Parcells win another Super Bowl.
There's also another NFC East team that might have some interest in Ingram. Everyone assumes the Redskins will select a quarterback with the No. 10 overall pick, but it wouldn't shock me if Mike Shanahan chooses Ingram. The Redskins left themselves exposed last season at running back and wide receiver. With the uncertainty surrounding free agency, there's more pressure than ever to land starters via the draft.
We'll keep you posted.