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Melvin Ingram thinks the questions about his arm length are silly

San Diego Chargers Minicamp Getty Images

Prior to the NFL draft, the biggest knock on South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram was that his arms were too short: His arm length, as measured at the Scouting Combine, was 31.5 inches, and some people questioned whether that would limit him in the NFL.

Ingram, who was selected in the first round by the Chargers, has heard that criticism. And he thinks it’s ridiculous.

“I really don’t care about that stuff,” Ingram said on NFL Network. “I’ve told a lot of people, short arms or long arms don’t make you a football player. If that were the case everybody with long arms would play football. Either you’re a football player or you’re not. Your arm length doesn’t make a difference.”

One of the strengths of Ingram heading into the draft was the view among coaches that he can be a good fit at multiple positions. Ingram said at the first day of the Chargers’ rookie minicamp that he’s already doing that.

“Sam linebacker, defensive end, and other positions,” Ingram said he’s learning in the Chargers’ defense. “I’m just trying to work hard and do whatever my coaches need me to do.”

Short arms won’t hold him back from doing that.

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22 Responses to “Melvin Ingram thinks the questions about his arm length are silly”
  1. kegowhisky says: May 12, 2012 7:15 AM

    I’m not sure if short arms will affect a linebacker that much, but hey, 31.5 inch arms on a 6′ 2″ body are going to look like the itty bitty arms on a gigantic tyrannosauros rex!

  2. footballfanatic1906 says: May 12, 2012 7:33 AM

    T Rex!

  3. warrenmoon says: May 12, 2012 7:44 AM

    I know that short arms help with bench pressing and other lifts, so if anything it may give him more push because his arms are compact. But that is just from a positive outlook.

  4. danny2305 says: May 12, 2012 7:48 AM

    Ask Robert Gallery if short arms make a difference in the NFL.

  5. anthonyfromstatenisland says: May 12, 2012 8:04 AM

    But do you realize how short this is?

    Most dress-shirt manufacturers don’t make dress shirts with sleeve lengths less than 32″ – something I know about all too well because I worked in back-office jobs on Wall Street for 15 years and my sleeve length is like 30.5″. I’m 5’4″ – and when I once complained about the lack of available options a salesman told me that the typical man who has a 31″ sleeve length isn’t more than 5’0″!

    There used to be this chain or clothiers in Manhattan by the name of Bancroft that stocked dress shirts with sleeve lengths down to 30″, by the way – but they went out of business some time ago.

  6. ty46 says: May 12, 2012 8:05 AM

    Good luck vs Ryan Clady with his 36 inch arms.

  7. brasho says: May 12, 2012 8:29 AM

    It sure seems to have made a difference to Brandon Graham of the Eagles, he came out of college after a huge senior season with the same questions about arm length… and he has really struggled at the NFL in disengaging from blocks and keeping offensive tackles’ hands off him.

  8. sportsmeccabi says: May 12, 2012 8:37 AM

    It’s actually a huge difference. I’ve played offensive tackle before (both sides) and played against those 6’5 long armed kind of guys. I only have arms that are about 27 inches and am about 5’10. I had these guys with those 34-36 inch arms fully lock out on me, and my hands couldn’t even reach him. So I was just stuck shuffling my feet.
    It is really hard to pass rush if you can’t get your hands on an offensive lineman.

  9. Patriot42 says: May 12, 2012 8:42 AM

    As a Chiefs fan I hope they go 0-16 but the length of ones arms as it relates to whether he will succeed in the NFL is ridiculous. Why don’t we just let the combine pick all the college players and save on salaries for scouts.

  10. joetoronto says: May 12, 2012 8:50 AM

    Dude doesn’t stand a chance.

    Another great choice by the lord of no rings himself, AJ Smith.

  11. caseyanthonymunoz says: May 12, 2012 8:57 AM

    Well his father was an alligator.

  12. arbiterflick says: May 12, 2012 9:02 AM

    His arms are half an inch shorter than Jared Allen’s, and the same size as Tamba Hali’s.

    Having short arms hasn’t limited either of those guys, has it?

  13. help me says: May 12, 2012 10:22 AM

    32 inch arms:

    Jared Allen 6’6′
    Terrell Suggs 6’3′
    Cameron Wake 6’3′
    Joey Porter 6’3′
    Trent Cole 6’3′
    Elvis Dumervil 5’11′

    Melvin Ingram at just 6’1′ has 31.5′ arms…

    So if very tall Jared Allen at 6’6 has 32′ arms and it’s not a problem then why would it be a problem for a guy that’s 6’1′ with 31’5′ arms?

  14. billhicks666 says: May 12, 2012 11:02 AM

    danny2305 says:

    “Ask Robert Gallery if short arms make a difference in the NFL”

    Excellent point. Having short arms may not affect every player out there, but they sure do affect O-Linemen. It’s the reason I think Riley Reiff will never be an effective LT in the NFL. RT maybe, but not LT.

  15. tjh9985 says: May 12, 2012 11:15 AM

    Hah. All this talk made me curious to measure my own arm length for some reason.

  16. jschwanny says: May 12, 2012 11:19 AM

    Short arms haven’t stopped Robert Mathis from being a league leader in sacks and forced fumbles every year for about a decade.

  17. bayareaballers says: May 12, 2012 12:14 PM

    Blasphemy. Elvis Dumervil is short, but known for his 6-foot-6 long arm wing span. His team mates poke fun at him. Look it up.

  18. qdog112 says: May 12, 2012 1:54 PM

    Whether is arm length will hurt his play is the dumbest question since, Ireland of Miami asked the Bryant kid about his mother’s job. Melvin Ingram is my pick for defensive ROY. As a Panthers fan, I wanted him over Kuechly. I suppose such crazy talk, keeps somebody employed.

  19. romoscollarbone says: May 12, 2012 4:29 PM

    Arm length makes a difference but its not the. End all, be all. If you think about Oline vs Dline it can. Be compared to boxing. Mayweathers much longer arms have him that distance vs Cotto to control the fight. While Cotto got shots in, the arm length is a big piece of it.

  20. scottytboltfan says: May 13, 2012 10:28 AM

    If he can’t get to the QB because of short arms, they will move him to ILB. He’s going to make plays somewhere……

  21. dougiezilla says: May 13, 2012 7:37 PM

    i don’t care if his arms are a little small ,i care about the size of his heart ! From what i can see his play shows BIG heart

  22. icanspeel says: May 14, 2012 6:06 PM

    All the short arm talk just gives him another motivator to prove people wrong.

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