Is South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram a Possibility for Pittsburgh at 24?

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs is hit by Melvin Ingram #6 and another defender of the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Dan Shonka, an experienced NFL Scout and general manager of Ourlands' NFL Scouting Services, always provides a unique perspective on the draft, and has a bit less of a mainstream approach to his mock drafts.

In his latest, he has versatile and explosive LB Melvin Ingram falling to Pittsburgh at 24.

I'm not sure if I've seen Ingram's name mentioned as a candidate for Pittsburgh, but looking at it in Shonka's eyes, it makes sense.

On one hand, he's explosive - something Steelers coach Mike Tomlin certainly likes in his high-end draft picks. On the other, Ingram's size isn't quite prototypical for an outside linebacker - likely the position he'd play if he was in Pittsburgh. It's that lack of elite size that could cause Ingram to fall a bit, and teams picking in the bottom third of the draft don't always get that luxury.

There are strong defensive teams utilizing that "tweener" sized defensive player, though. San Francisco's Aldon Smith (6-foot-4, 258 pounds) was a pass-rushing machine for the 49ers in 2011. Obviously, Steelers' OLB James Harrison is down a few inches from ideal height.

Ingram is an impact player in many ways, and in today's NFL, you can never have enough pass rushers.

Shonka notes:

Collected 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also intercepted two passes, was credited with six quarterback hurries and scored three touchdowns, including a 68-yard run on a fake punt in the Gamecocks' win at Georgia.A player without a position.Had a good week of practice beating blockers in one-on-one competition, but in the game he did not make one sack, tackle, batted pass, etc. His arm length of 30 ½" is major concern. He struggled to disengage from the best pass protectors. He is explosive, quick, and athletic. He looks like a 3-4 rush end, a spot that was unavailable in the Senior Bowl Game because of the rules. Another toy for Dick LeBeau.

Our own Michael Bean put together a succinct and impressive Ingram highlight package on SB Nation's YouTube Channel:

Melvin Ingram 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

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