Scouting Report: Mark Ingram
In 2009 Ingram was far and away the best back in the country in leading Alabama to the National Championship and garnering the Heisman Trophy for himself. 2010 however proved to be a different story for Ingram as he struggled missing the first 2 games of the season due to a knee injury and then battled a multitude of minor injuries and setbacks the rest of the campaign. While still thought by most to be the number #1 back coming into the draft his injury history and the fact that he appears often times beat up are causes for concern. Overall though, Ingram possesses elite vision, instincts, awareness and balance which will enable him to start at the next level from day one and have the capability to be a Top 10 running back in the league for years to come.
Inside running is the strongest part of Ingram’s game as he possesses a strong compact frame, a low center of gravity and the understanding to always maintain a low pad level. He also demonstrates excellent acceleration to press the line quickly showcasing an exceptional burst through the hole. As a one cut runner he is at his best, when he is able to use his elite vision and instincts to routinely pick the right hole. He also displays a strong leg drive, always pumping his legs and moving the pile forward for extra yards. In addition Ingram also showcases outstanding patience as he waits for plays to develop allowing his teammates to set up their blocks.
As an outside runner Ingram in is not quite elite but very good as he shows the ability to turn the corner consistently but due to his lack of top end speed he is not always the first one to the edge. While Ingram lacks elite elusiveness he does have the ability to make defenders miss at times in the open field with his short area quickness; generally though he opts to just power through them. As well, Ingram exhibits an outstanding stiff arm allowing him to punish defenders while he moves down the field.
Ingram is a reliable receiver out of the backfield especially in the screen game where his patience and ability to set up blocks really shines. But while he has the capacity to catch the ball Ingram is not an exceptional receiver as he struggles plucking the ball out of the air, handling it cleanly and bringing it into his body. In addition he is not a polished route runner and should not be considered in the same breath as versatile backs like Ray Rice or Maurice Jones Drew.
Showcasing excellent ball security, Ingram has only fumbled the ball twice during his time at Alabama. At times Ingram does still carry the ball high but his hands are so strong and he clutches the ball so tightly that defenders find it nearly impossible to knock the ball out.
Vision, Instincts & Awareness
Possessing elite vision, instincts and awareness Ingram consistently picks the right holes and cutback lanes always running towards daylight. His vision, instincts and awareness are so elite that he has been compared to Emmitt Smith by many observers.
While Ingram does show some shiftiness in the open field and the ability to make a guy miss in tight areas, elusiveness is not really a focal point of his game. Mark is more or a power runner who stays low and compact, not giving defenders much to hit while regularly running through contact. Bottom line, if you want to tackle Ingram you better wrap him up.
Ingram is a willing pass blocker who does not shy away from contact and likes to give defenders a good pop. However, he lacks technique often going to low on cut blocks, taking bad angles or not anchoring himself well enough. At times Trent Richardson has even been brought in during passing situations as he is seen as the better blocker of the two.
Excellent leg drive, Ingram has a strong lower half, is extremely powerful and is able to run through contact. He also exhibits the ability to move the pile always churning his feet forward. Ingram’s strong leg drive is evident by him getting around half of his career yards after contact.
Size, Speed, Strength & Agility
With near prototypical size for the position (prototypical is considered 5’11 225) Ingram is built low to the ground and is very thick through his hips making it hard for defenders to wrap him up. He possesses excellent upper and lower body strength showcasing the ability to consistently run through arm tackles. He also exhibits quick feet with the skill to accelerate getting up to top speed quickly. His balance is elite in every sense of the word and it is extremely difficult to knock him off stride. In addition he possesses excellent lateral agility with enough wiggle to make a defender miss. From a physical standpoint Ingram’s only drawback is his top end speed as it is not elite which may limit some of his big play ability, however he certainly has enough speed to make the 30-40 yard runs on a consistent basis.
Durability is an issue for Ingram as he had a hip injury in 2009, he missed the first 2 games of the 2010 season with a knee injury and then struggled with minor injuries throughout his junior year. While he has only had 572 carries (14.7 carries per game) during his time at Alabama his running style is not conducive for staying healthy and he has yet to learn how to avoid the big hit.
There have been no character issues with Mark Ingram during his 3 years at Alabama and he even received the Derrick Thomas Community Service Award in 2010. His father, however, former Giants WR Mark Ingram Sr, is currently serving a 92 month sentence (which was increased by 2 more years) for money laundering and bank fraud. It has been well documented though that Mark Ingram has been able to rise above his father’s transgressions and become a leader on the Crimson Tide. A testament to Ingram’s selflessness is not hearing of any complaints from of the young running back as he was forced to share carries with Trent Richardson last season.
Generally the first thing people notice about Ingram when they watch him run is his never say die attitude and how he does not shy away from contact. In addition, Ingram has continued to play hard and stick in the lineup despite the plethora of nagging injuries throughout the 2010 season.
Ingram has played against the very best in college football in the SEC conference and there is no doubt he will be able to run the ball from day 1 in the NFL. He has the potential to be a top 5 back in the NFL but his career long term will depend largely if he can stay healthy or not.
Ingram is the son of former NFL wide receiver Mark Ingram, who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. He is a nine-time All-State track star in high school with runs of 10.69 100-meter dash and 21.9 200-meter dash and a best long jump of 23 feet, 8 inches. He is a telecommunications and film major at the University of Alabama.
2010: 11 games played, 11 starts — 158 car 875 yds 5.5 avg 13 Tds — 21 rec 282 yds 13.4 avg 1 Tds
2009: 14 games played, 13 starts – 271 car 1,658 yds 6.1 avg 17 Tds — 32 rec 334 yds 10.4 avg 3 Tds
2008: 14 games played, 0 starts — 143 car 743 yds 5.1 avg 12 Tds — 7 rec 54 yds 7.7 avg 0 Tds
Unknown major at Alabama.
Awards & Honors
2009: Heisman Trophy winner. Unanimous 1st Team All-American. 1st Team All-SEC. SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
2008: SEC All-Freshman team.
Prospect Video Clips
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