Saints Trade for 28th Pick, Select Mark Ingram
The New Orleans Saints made a move on day one of the NFL Draft and bagged themselves another Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram from Alabama.
The Saints traded with the New England Patriots for the 28th selection int he 2011 NFL Draft and selected Alabama RB Mark Ingram. To get the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, the Saints traded their second round pick and next year's first round pick to the Patriots.
The son of former National Football League wide receiver, Mark Ingram, a standout during his playing days with the New York Giants, “Junior” is regarded as the elite ball carrier in the collegiate ranks. The ball carrier has often been compared to Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith, as both play with that low pad level and strong leg drive to power his way through tight rush lanes, along with the second gear to pull away from defenders in the open field.
Ingram became the first player in Alabama’s storied history to capture the 2009 Heisman Memorial Trophy. The Crimson Tide tailback joined Florida’s Tim Tebow and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford as the only sophomores ever to win the award. A unanimous first-team All-American selection, Ingram shattered school records with 1,658 yards rushing on 271 carries with 17 touchdowns for Alabama’s 2009 National Championship squad.
Ingram shows terrific vision and patience to follow his blocking and find the holes. The Tide tailback also has outstanding lateral agility to hit creases and the burst to take it the distance. He also has excellent ball handling skills, having turned the ball over just twice during a career that saw him touch the pigskin 634 times (572 rushes, 60 receptions and two kickoff returns).
Even though Ingram started just 24 contests during his 39-game career with the Tide, he ranks seventh among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers with 42 rushing touchdowns and also with 46 total scores. His 3,261 yards on the ground placed 15th among active players.
Few of those 2010 collegiate performers can boast Ingram’s success where it counts most for a running back – inside the red zone. From 20 yards away from the goal-line, the junior amassed 24 of his rushing touchdowns, scoring 22 times on goal-line plays during his last two seasons. Operating in those close quarters during that span, he was stopped for a loss just five times on 78 carries.
Before Ingram’s arrival, the Alabama rushing attack ranked eighth in the conference and 60th nationally, averaging 149.23 yards per game on the ground. As a true freshman in 2008, he teamed with starting tailback Glen Coffee to boost that number to 184.64 rushing yards per game, placing third in the Southeastern Conference and 31st nationally.
When Ingram took over starting duties in 2009, Alabama’s ground game ranked among the nation’s elite, placing third in the conference and 12th nationally with an average of 215.07 rushing yards per game. As a junior, injuries prevented him from playing in the Tide’s first two games, but once he returned to action, he helped the rushing attack average 182.92 yards per game.
Ingram etched his named among the elite running backs in the history of the Southeastern Conference. He set a Crimson Tide season-record with 1,658 yards in rushing in 2009, shattering the old mark of 1,471 set by Bobby Humphrey in 1996. That number also ranks sixth in SEC annals behind such prestigious names like Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891 in 1981; 1,752 in 1982), Darren McFadden of Arkansas (1,830; 2007), Bo Jackson of Auburn (1,786; 1985) and Charles Alexander of Louisiana State (1,686; 1977).
Ingram’s 42 touchdown runs broke Shaun Alexander’s previous school all-time record (41; 1996-99) and tied Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State for seventh (2006-09) in league annals. In 39 games, he recorded a total of 46 scores (four more receiving), topped by only Alexander’s 50 on the Tide’s career-record chart. That total also tied Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State (47 games, 2006-09) and Carnell Williams of Auburn (42 games, 2001-04) for sixth place on the SEC’s all-time record list.
Immediately after the pick was announced, another former Heisman Trophy Winner Reggie Bush who is currently on the team Tweeted,