Two of the 15 best players in this year’s NFL draft may have come from South Carolina, where outside linebacker Melvin Ingram and cornerback Stephon Gilmore both impressed at today’s Pro Day.
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock watched the Gamecocks’ workout and said afterward that Ingram looked impressive, with the only question being what position he’ll play in the NFL.
“Melvin Ingram, for me, is a really fun puzzle to try to figure out,” Mayock said. “At 272 pounds, short arms, where do you play him? At South Carolina they did a great job moving him around. He played defensive end, outside linebacker, he played defensive tackle in their sub package. and I think that’s what you need to do in the NFL.”
Mayock compared the role Ingram can play in an NFL defense to what James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley have done for the Steelers.
“For me, he’s a first-round pick, he’s a Top 15 player, and I think the 3-4 teams are really going to like him,” Mayock said of Ingram. “Very similar to Harrison and Woodley.”
Gilmore, who started 40 games at South Carolina, looks like the second-best cornerback in the draft, behind LSU’s Morris Claiborne.
“Trust me, six-foot corners with long arms are rare, especially when they run 4.4 with his movement skills,” Mayock said of Gilmore. “I’ve got him as the No. 2 corner for a reason. I think he’s a Top 10 to Top 15 pick. Not a lot of people have him that high, but I saw it again today.”
Steve Spurrier’s offense has never translated to the NFL, but two players from Spurrier’s defense may make South Carolina the first college football program to hear its name called twice during the NFL draft’s first round.