One of the most intriguing prospects that may have gone under-the-radar to many fans is guard Ed Ingram. Picked in the second round of the most recent NFL Draft, Ingram enters as a bright light to solidify the Minnesota Vikings’ “hopefully-at-least-mediocre” offensive line. Like most rookie linemen, there wasn’t a ton of hype around his selection. Now, he might be a day one starter. Who is this meteoric trench defender, and what could we expect?
Used to the Big Time
A four-star recruit and member of the class of 2017 out of DeSoto High in Texas, Ingram got offers from colleges like Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia, but selected LSU. One of the biggest pulls for Ingram is that as a true freshman, he started for all 13 games. That’s almost unheard of, especially for offensive lineman recruited into the SEC. He sat out for the 2018 season due to off-the-field issues, but outside of that was the concrete starting guard. His best seasons came in his final two (2020 & 2021), earning him All-SEC honors in 2021. In terms of his scouting report, it’s not his athleticism that stands out, even though he’s a solid athlete. It’s all in Ingram’s mechanics. He’s very sound and has a strong process. Keeps his feet moving in pass protection, maintains balance well, etc. There were many skeptics questioning just how high Ed Ingram should rightfully get selected, but clearly the Vikings saw the potential and acted accordingly.
New Setting, Same Colors
Ingram was taken 59th overall, a full round higher than a lot of analysts predicted. Even with this, it makes sense that such a line-needy team like Minnesota would reach a bit to get the guy they want. These moves, though, can and have backfired in the Vikings’ faces before. Minnesota already has quite the abysmal track record for drafting linemen in recent years, so not only taking one early but one that’s had off-the-field issues? This could be a major miss by the front office. With this all being said, though, Ed Ingram has been taking first team reps in practice since after the Vikings’ first preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Obviously, he hasn’t constantly gotten first team reps due to the right guard battle between Ingram and Chris Reed (who is currently listed on the injury report as questionable, something to keep an eye on). It has seemed more and more likely that Ed Ingram will be the team’s week one starter, but can he pan out long-term?
I’m not usually the type of guy that likes hot takes or controversial opinions, mostly due to the fact that almost all hot takes are more like hot garbage and are completely wrong. However, I can’t help but be excited that for one of the first times as a Vikings fan, a rookie lineman is developing. Developing, at least from an outsider perspective, fast. Realistically, if Ingram has a strong and healthy rookie campaign, that can set him up to at least be a solid starter for this team. Bare minimum, he becomes a decent player that can be called upon when needed. The things that could keep him from achieving that next level are things that, if he puts his head down and keeps this up, could be fixed with coaching and practice. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to watching a right guard on opening day.