Running back Mark Ingram wasn’t supposed to be a Saint. When it came time for New Orleans to make the 24th pick in this years draft he was available, and I’m sure heavily considered, but also available was California defensive end Cameron Jordan.
Jordan was widely considered to be the top talent at defensive end in the draft, and was expected to be taken much higher than number 24. Given the teams needs at defensive end coupled with his immense talent it was an obvious pick. So there sat Ingram yet again, passed up by a team he knew was extremely interested.
No one expected the Saints to make the move they did next. With the New England Patriots on the clock at 28 a trade was announced between them and the Saints. Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton traded the teams second round pick, and a future first round pick in 2012, to get back into the first round and select Mark Ingram.
The Saints earned high praise for both selections considering the top fifteen talent represented in each, but were able to get them as “value” picks in the bottom of the first round.
Ingram is expected to immediately boost the Saints rushing production, is an early favorite for the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year and most expect him to see a fair share of the carries in 2011.
Expectations are high for the Alabama product, but in the eyes of the coaching staff a moderate and injury free rookie season would be just fine.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has come out of his own pocket to bring Saints players together for off-season workouts on the campus of Tulane University, starting last week, while the NFL is lockout mode awaiting a verdict from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether a permanent stay is to be put in place.
Brees tweeted “About to go workout with the fellas. Should see Mark Ingram today. Look forward to seeing the young buck in action.” So it looks like Ingram will be joining his new future team mates, which as far as anyone knows is the first appearance made by him thus far at practice.