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Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Melvin Ingram (24) waits his turn for the vertical jump during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Morning Dump

While Ingram was a first-team All-American at defensive end, he’ll be used as an outside linebacker in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme.

When the Chargers took South Carolina pass-rusher Melvin Ingram at No. 18, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper called it the best value pick of the draft.

No. 18 San Diego Chargers: DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina –- Ingram began his career as a linebacker before switching to defensive end. He was a consensus All-American last season, earning first-team All-SEC honors and collecting 10 sacks. He has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Denver Broncos star Von Miller, last year’s No. 2 overall pick.

After reloading the offensive line and receiving corps in free agency, General Manager A.J. Smith used San Diego’s first-round draft choice to select South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram at No. 18 overall.

At two venues a few miles from each other, the Chargers seemed to take small steps Thursday toward winning back their fan base.

How he fits: Ingram, who wasn’t in the Chargers’ projected “cluster” of possible picks because they thought he’d be gone before 18, will be pointed at the quarterback and turned loose. The Chargers, last in the league in third down defense and lacking game-changing plays, need help with pass rush. Ingram can line up a lot of places, though he primarily will come off the edge. He didn’t start much until his senior year at South Carolina and will have to learn a new position. But he has great athleticism for his size (6-2, 276 pounds), which will help him make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers have taken South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram with the 18th pick overall in the NFL draft.

Team executives were skipping around Chargers Park like cheerful bunnies, giddy about landing the University of South Carolina pass rusher. That Ingram cascaded to the Chargers’ spot at No. 18, well, was just good luck.

Three years ago, the Chargers took a pass rusher described as “a natural athlete … experienced, smart and competitive,” in the Pro Football Weekly 2009 Draft Preview. He was supposed to come in, start across from Shaun Phillips and create one of the top pass-rushing duos in the NFL.

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