Scouting Reports: Ingram and Barnes

The Chargers have two rookies from South Carolina: first-round pick OLB Melvin Ingram and undrafted WR Jason Barnes. Ingram arrives with high expectations, while Barnes is looking to beat the odds and make a name for himself. For in-depth information on each of the prospects, we talk with Wes Mitchell, publisher of

Melvin Ingram, selected by the Chargers with the No. 18 overall pick, has spent the last two years making his living in opposing backfields. During that time he racked up 19 sacks and 26 tackles for loss, wreaking havoc from multiple positions. At 6-foot-1 and 264 lbs., he is a natural defensive end. But he also found much success playing inside, using his active hands and fast get-off to school opposing guards.

Here is more on Ingram courtesy publisher Wes Mitchell.

"The average follower of college football probably didn't realize just how good Melvin Ingram was until his senior year in Columbia, but Ingram was the type raw athlete that the South Carolina coaches knew had all the potential in the world from the very beginning. Ingram is the type athlete who seems to be able to do anything he puts his mind to -- he played running back in high school, actually has an extremely strong throwing arm and is even a left-footed punter -- in addition to his abilities as a defensive player.

"Ingram was recruited as a middle linebacker, but his weight gain and nagging injuries seemed to keep him off the field during the early parts of his career. Ingram was then moved to the defensive line. At first, the move didn't really seem to click for Ingram, as he still seemed to think he was a linebacker. However, once he bought into the move and truly learned the type work ethic it took to be great, he became not only one of the best playmakers in the SEC, but one of the Gamecocks' best team leaders.

"While Ingram became a household name largely due to his 68-yard run on a fake punt against Georgia his senior season, he actually had a very strong junior year when he led the team and was third in the SEC with 9.0 sacks.

"Ingram's primary strength is his versatility and raw athleticism -- once that meshed with a strong work ethic and the tutelage of defensive line coach Brad Lawing he became a force on the Carolina D-line. At his best, Ingram was used as both a defensive end in early downs and then had the size to move inside and become a very athletic, pass-rushing defensive tackle in obvious passing situations. Ingram was also very comfortable dropping into coverage and made several big plays doing so. In certain packages where the Gamecocks went to a three-man front, Ingram played middle linebacker in a sort of 3-3-5 stack look.

"While there will no doubt be some questions about his size and where he fits in, Ingram's natural ability and tenacity as a defender should make him successful in whatever role the San Diego coaches choose to use him."
Here is the scouting report on Jason Barnes, the unheralded wide-out who will attempt to crack San Diego's loaded receiver corps, or at least win a spot on the practice squad.

"Jason Barnes landed in Columbia with the expectations of being the replacement to all-time school great WR Sidney Rice. Barnes offered a nice size-speed combination and on a stop watch was actually probably faster than Rice.

"Barnes appeared to be an emerging talent in his redshirt freshman season when he had 27 receptions for 346 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He caught caught 26 passes for 287 yards his sophomore campaign, but while he continued to stay in the rotation, he didn't get near the targets during his junior and senior years as the Gamecocks' receiving corps became deeper and more talented. Barnes combined to catch just 10 passes for 111 yards in his final two seasons.

"Barnes had some ability, and it showed early in his career, but he never seemed to be able to put it all together and develop as an upperclassman. Barnes was never able to use his size as a major advantage like Rice before him and teammate Alshon Jeffery -- just was never good at going up and high-pointing the ball -- and also had some key drops when trying to earn a spot as a go-to receiver. Some also had some questions about his work ethic.

"The fact the Chargers want to take a look at him speaks to his natural ability, but Barnes was never really a big part of the offense as an upperclassman, and it's going to take a lot of development for him to make an impact at the NFL level."

What kind of impact will Ingram make as a rookie? Discuss in the message boards.

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