This is the time of year every team loves its draft class. After all, the players haven’t proven them wrong yet.
But coaches in San Diego are positively raving about first-rounder Melvin Ingram.
Some thought the South Carolina product might have been the best pass-rusher in the draft, and the Chargers got him 18th overall. While he lined up at inside linebacker, defensive tackle, and defensive end for the Gamecocks, the Chargers think he has what it takes to be special as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
“Melvin is an aware football player,” Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry told Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “When you have awareness and you have instincts and you have feel, he might do something completely wrong, but he’s aware enough to fall into things.
“He’s a rookie. He’s got a million miles to travel … But [expletive], he’s making progress, and that’s all I can ask for. I’m really excited for him. I think he’s going to be a hell of a player.”
The Chargers managed just 32 sacks last year, fewer than all but eight teams in the league. If Ingram lives up to his billing, he could make a significant difference in that stat, and live up to all the preseason hype.