According to SI’s Tony Pauline per TFY Draft Insider, the Jets are reportedly very high on South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram and are planning their draft strategy around trading up for him.
The only real question that has lingered around Ingram this offseason is where he fits at the next level. Ingram is one of the best pass-rushers in this year’s draft, but at 6’1” and 264 pounds with 31.5” arms, it has been up for debate whether he fits better as an end or a stand-up rusher.
Fortunately for the Jets, it won’t matter.
Head coach Rex Ryan runs a sophisticated and complex enough defense that he’ll find a way to utilize Ingram’s strengths. In fact, Ingram may actually be a great fit in New York because of Ryan’s defense.
It’s clear the Jets like Ingram and that he’d fit well in the defense, but they’ll most likely have to make a move to go up and get him in the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 7), Miami Dolphins (No. 8) and Carolina Panthers (No. 9) could all be interested in Ingram’s services. New York may also face some trade competition from other teams trying to move up to those spots in potential trade scenarios.
So, while the “chatter is getting louder” that the Jets want the pass-rusher and plan to trade up for him, the value of those latter Top-10 picks is going up as well.
Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: New York is looking to stay physical on defense. Its run defense was great last year, especially up the middle. But the Jets are looking for more playmakers off the edge and in the box.
Adding Ingram would certainly help.