Check out some of Melvin Ingram’s highlights from the 2011 season:
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Watch newly drafted Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram give NFL Commissioner the triple-dap handshake.
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Welcome to the 2012 NFL Draft, live from Chargers Park. We’ll discuss the first round right here, so feel free to submit your questions and comments.
4:02 p.m. PT – I exhausted my Mountain Dew and Sour Patch Kids early in the day finishing up draft preview stories. You can access a position-by-position rundown here.
Chargers President Dean Spanos spoke with Chargers.com at about 3:30 on the building excitement, so check that out as well.
It should be an interesting night. I’ve heard speculation on all fronts: trade up, trade down and stay at No. 18 overall, which is where General Manager A.J. Smith sits now. Mock drafts from various analysts can’t come close to settling on a consensus pick, but OLB, S, CB and G all seem like possibilities.
4:10 p.m. PT – Reports have Cleveland trading with Minnesota to secure the No. 3 overall pick.
So, while it’s not official, the first three picks likely are as follows.
Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
4:18 p.m. PT – You get to be GM for a minute. Who are you taking at No. 18 and why? (Come on, we all know you’re playing that game on your own. Might as well share.)
4:25 p.m. PT – Commenter “Stephen” wants Boise State DE and 3-4 OLB prospect Shea McClellin at No. 18. My Twitter followers are in favor of a trade up to nab Alabama S Mark Barron, which likely would carry a steep price if reports are true that several teams covet the Crimson Tide star.
4:29 p.m. PT – Getting rid of my last bit of fuel already. Here comes a carrot cake Clif Bar. What are your draft rituals? Where are you watching?
4:38 p.m. PT – Here’s a tidbit for you: the Chargers, who completed a trade in each of their first 41 NFL seasons, and made four draft pick-related trades just two seasons ago, have not made a swap since shipping a seventh-round pick to Dallas for receiver Patrick Crayton on Sept. 3, 2010.
Last year was the first no-trade season in franchise history.
4:59 p.m. PT – The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock in less than one minute. Roger Goodell, Andrew Luck. Welcome to the league.
5:10 p.m. PT – The Washington Redskins take Griffin second overall, and Mike Shanahan believes he finally has the QB he needs.
It’s the fifth time in NFL history quarterbacks have been taken No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the same draft. The other four:
1971 – Jim Plunkett (NE) and Archie Manning (NYG)
1993 – Drew Bledsoe (NE) and Rick Mirer (SEA)
1998 – Peyton Manning (IND) and Ryan Leaf (SD)
1999 – Tim Couch (CLE) and Donovan McNabb (PHI)
5:15 p.m. PT – The Colts, Redskins and Browns didn’t waste time turning in picks, as the NFL injected a bit of time in between on the broadcast, but the Vikings already are on the clock. The intrigue begins.
Many expect USC T Matt Kalil. LSU CB Morris Claiborne is another option, and some think the Bucs grab Claiborne at No. 5.
5:18 p.m. PT – RBs had to wait for No. 28 overall last year (Alabama’s Mark Ingram). I believe the trend will continue away from RBs as top 10 selections, but many feel Bama’s Trent Richardson is good enough to be an exception.
I asked Richardson about the trend at the Combine. Here’s what he had to say.
5:30 p.m. PT – Interesting sub-plot for draft nerds as the picks are rolling in faster than the broadcast is moving along. Also, there is a lot of movement thus far, as Tampa Bay has traded the No. 5 overall selection to Jacksonville, who takes WR Justin Blackmon.
Oh, and for USC fans, Kalil officially will protect QB Christian Ponder (last year’s No. 12 overall pick) and block for RB Adrian Peterson.
5:34 p.m. PT – Woah. The Dallas Cowboys, thought to be major players for Alabama S Mark Barron, made a trade up to No. 6 from 14. Stay tuned.
5:38 p.m. PT – Dallas selects Claiborne. There were four trades in the top six picks, including Washington, which made its move weeks ago. That ties last year’s total for the entire first round.
5:43 p.m. PT – The Bucs take Barron at No. 7 overall, higher than some expected, but Barron’s “stock” seemed to rise late. Alabama has six picks of the 39 between last year’s first round and the No. 7 pick this year.
And the first player some associated with San Diego now is off the board. Still no pass-rusher. Von Miller went No. 2 overall to Denver last year.
6:01 p.m. PT – Still on the board are OLB prospects Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram as well as DT prospects Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers.
6:05 p.m. PT – Kansas City at No. 11 is the first AFC West team to make a pick. The Chiefs take Memphis DT Dontari Poe. There likely will be some debate about this pick. Poe’s frame and athleticism are elite. Some questioned his production in Conference USA.
6:10 p.m. PT – The first outside pass-rusher still hasn’t come off the board. The Chargers, one would think, have to be keeping tabs on that development.
6:20 p.m. PT – As 1360 AM personality Ben Higgins pointed out, Josh Lewin and the rest of the broadcast crew avoided two WRs named M. Floyd with Arizona taking Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd. Not that San Diego would’ve taken him.
6:27 p.m. PT – Time to get serious. May not be updating for a while. Pick No. 15 on the clock.
9:03 p.m. PT – Well, that turned out well. The Chargers targeted pass-rush. It was a top priority. And it just so happened the first outside pass rusher didn’t get selected until Seattle at No. 15 overall (again, last year Miller was picked No. 2). Coples went No. 16 to the New York Jets, but Melvin Ingram still was unclaimed until San Diego picked.
I thought the Chargers may take an OLB at 18, but I wouldn’t have expected a player regarded as well as Ingram.
Another expected priority, safety, saw the consensus top two go a bit earlier than public draft analysts expected, with Barron at No. 7 overall and Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith at No. 29.
Three running backs found out their teams on the first day, with Boise State’s Doug Martin and Virginia Tech’s David Wilson closing out the first round.
9:31 p.m. PT – Here’s the main story on the selection of Ingram. The Chargers plan to start Jarret Johnson and Shaun Phillips, with Antwan Barnes and Ingram as pass-rush specialists. Larry English and Travis LaBoy will vie for roles.
Ingram played point guard in high school, played on the hands team in college, does backflips and is an outstanding overall athlete.
A.J. Smith took a few moments to talk about the pick with Chargers.com.
What did you think of the selection? Let us know below.
San Diego holds the 17th pick in the second round, which begins at 4 p.m. PT tomorrow. The Chargers also hold a third-round pick on the draft’s second day. What positions would you like to see Smith go after?
That’s about it for day one.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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Phase I of offseason workouts began Monday at Chargers Park. By my (unofficial) count, more than 55 players attended the morning session.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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The Chargers started the lengthy final process of draft preparation Tuesday. San Diego’s entire player personnel department, along with Head Coach Norv Turner, began pre-draft meetings at Chargers Park.
The group goes through each player in what’s called “draft readings,” where one or more of those in the room share their notes and analysis out loud for one player at a time. They discuss each player’s personality, character, physical attributes and overall skill set. The team began with offensive linemen Tuesday, so Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line coach Hal Hunter and Offensive Line coach Mike Sullivan both were present as well.
General Manager A.J. Smith sits at the head of the table opposite Player Personnel Director Jimmy Raye. Turner sits to Smith’s right and Director of College Scouting John Spanos sits to Raye’s left. The rest of the player personnel department and the assistant coaches sit in between at the long draft room table, or at several small satellite tables a few feet away.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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