3. Melvin Ingram is not replaceable in the short term.
If the LA Chargers passed on re-signing Ingram, the discussion would obviously turn to his replacement. Some fans believe Uchenna Nwosu could be the eventual replacement since he’s Ingram’s backup.
While this looks like a natural transition at first glance, the drop off in pass rush from Ingram to Nwosu is massive, no matter which stat you look at. Per PFF, Ingram’s pass-rushing is grade 21 points higher than Nwosu’s.
To Nwosu’s credit, he’s solid against the run, but he still does have a lot to work to do as a pass rusher. Not to mention, we haven’t seen Nwosu in a season where he’s the full-time starter. While he could eventually be that presence, it’s just too early to tell. Starting edge for a full season would be a role that puts too much pressure on him in the current system.
Theoretically, the Chargers could look to the draft for Ingram’s replacement. It just doesn’t make sense to me to burn draft capital on a defensive end that may or may not pan out when they could just sign Ingram. The Chargers have higher priorities on the offensive line and in other areas when it comes to the 2021 Draft.
The other area the Chargers could look at is free agency, but that brings us back to almost the same free-agent problem. Sure, Yannick Ngakoue and Shaquil Barrett are free agents, but they are likely to be even more expensive than Ingram will be.