In their ongoing effort to look at ways to shore up the defense, the Chicago Bears hosted Melvin Ingram this week. The defensive lineman from the South Carolina Gamecocks is a definite possibility to go to the Bears in the first round of the draft. Here is a closer look at Ingram and what he can offer to the Bears.
*At 6 foot 2, and weighing 276 pounds, Ingram is a big guy, and will fit in well with the rest of the defense as an intimidating presence.
*Ingram definitely has an impressive resume; he was named an All-SEC nominee and an All-American in 2011. Those honors don't always equal success in the NFL, but they do show the kind of work he put in at the college level.
*The Bears need some flexibility in their defense, and Ingram can provide that. He can do well as an outside linebacker or as a defensive end. His 48 tackles in his last season help boost his value to the team as well.
*Last season Ingram had ten sacks, and nine in 2010. He was ranked third in the SEC for sacks in his junior year. The Bears are looking for someone to compliment Julius Peppers, who had the team high last season with 11 sacks. If Ingram can perform at the same level as Peppers, he can serve the Bears well, as long as he can keep up with the faster pace of the NFL.
*One strike against Ingram is that he hasn't had a lot of experience as a starter while at South Carolina. He sat out his entire freshman season with a foot injury, was a redshirt sophomore, and had one start his junior year. 14 career starts with the Gamecocks doesn't exactly make him seasoned, but he has put up impressive numbers nonetheless.
It is no secret that the Bears are looking to the draft to find new talent for the defense. Scouting is where Phil Emery shines, so fans can expect that he will make some great picks to round out the roster. Ingram is not the only possible draft pick that the team is looking at; the Bears are also hosting Dont'a Hightower from the Alabama program this week.
Whitney Levon is a Chicago native whose dedication to the Bears goes back to her first football memory; the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl victory. She has been covering the Chicago Bears and other Chicago teams since 2010. You can follow her on Twitter @wlevon1.
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