Alabama’s Mark Ingram is considered by many as the top running back in this year’s draft. He isn’t going to wow anyone with his size, speed, and physical skill-set, but he runs hard and with a purpose. His running style is actually very comparable to Emmit Smith.
Ingram is a patient runner that shows great vision, staying behind his blockers before shooting through an opening. He has nifty footwork and change of direction in tight spaces that make it very difficult to get a clean hit on him. He uses jukes and cutback lanes well to set up blocks and creates running lanes down the field. Ingram runs “angry” and stays behind his pads, ensuring that he falls forward for a couple more yards after contact. His uses his low enter of gravity to run with a strong base and a powerful stride. Even when watching him run the forty-yard dash, he runs with high knees and uses his big powerful thighs. Throughout the rest of this month, he will be on a mission to prove to teams that he can protect the passer in the backfield, and also have the hands to check out in the flat and be a threat in the passing game as well.
While Mark Ingram may be the best overall running back prospect available in the draft, teams will be evaluating his against the “value” they could get in later rounds. With passing systems becoming much more prevalent in the NFL, the value of the first round running back may becoming extinct.