2011 NFL Draft: Why So Quiet about Mark Ingram?

Chris Dela RosaContributor IApril 20, 2011

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scores a touchdown during the Capitol One Bowl against the Michigan State Spartans at the Florida Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In the last few weeks, the discussions about the 2011 NFL Draft have been around Cameron Newton, the top quarterback prospects and defensive line players.  While these positions have several players in the top 32 rankings, Mark Ingram is flying solo as the only running back and has not been in most conversations regarding the draft.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and cover athlete for NCAA Football 12 will be a great addition to any team. Ingram reminds some of Maurice Jones-Drew; the stout power back ran for 875 yards with 13 touchdowns in 2010.

Like Jones-Drew, Ingram can make quick moves, but is not really known for his speed. He can bully his way through crowds and can overpower players once he reaches secondaries.

One of the benefits of having Ingram on your team is his ability to lead, which will make a huge impact in the future.  In 2009 when he took the Crimson Tide to the National Championship, Ingram was still young, but he had to carry a hefty portion of the load. 

That ability to lead will go a long way when it comes to helping the running backs of the future or taking his game to the next level when his team needs him.

Unlike a top-five prospect like Newton, Ingram is modest and carries himself with a silent, but deadly demeanor.  For most fans, it was a touching moment to see someone so tough on the field like Ingram break down as he gave his acceptance speech for the Heisman Trophy. 

This attitude is like the New York Jets' offensive line; they were featured in a 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated for that very demeanor. They're known for producing without talking trash, which is something most coaches would die for in a player with as much skill as Ingram. 

A team that may draft him is the Indianapolis Colts. They may want Ingram so they can have a 1-2 speed/power combination with Donald Brown as Joseph Addai ages and begins to move out of the spotlight.  

There is no doubt Ingram will be drafted in the first round, but it will be interesting who drafts the young running back.