Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram, the 18th overall pick in the draft, attracted plenty of attention during his preseason debut last week against the Packers.
“Did I watch him?” cornerback Quentin Jammer said, via Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. “Everyone on our sideline was watching him.”
For Ingram, however, it was no big deal.
“This was my opportunity to play against higher-caliber guys with more strength and speed,” Ingram said. “I was happy with how it went, because it didn’t seem too difficult.”
Making it less difficult is that he was running past guys like Herb Taylor. (Who? Exactly.) Still, Ingram went a long way to address concerns about his short arms.
Said Jammer, “It’s always something they find to nitpick you on, and it’s always ridiculous in a case like this, because if you can play like this guy, who cares about the arms?”
Jammer had more to say about his relatively new teammate. “You should see him at practice,” Jammer said. “He can straight bull-rush linemen or get around you with a serious spin move. He’ll make a huge contribution. This guy is an absolute monster — big, strong and fast, and he has a motor on him beyond what you’d expect. Most guys who rush don’t have all of those attributes.”
Coach Norv Turner agrees, saying that Ingram “is going to be outstanding on third downs.”
“He’s an exceptional player who can do a lot of things,” Turner said. “I think he was the most complete linebacker in the draft.”
Ingram gets to show how complete he is soon in games that count. Until then, he gives the Chargers their biggest potential threat at linebacker since Shawn Merriman, pre-Nandrolene.