Denver Broncos Should Look To Alabama RB Mark Ingram in 2011 NFL Draft

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IOctober 9, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I am all aboard the "Draft Mark Ingram" bandwagon.

I will make the buttons, the bumper stickers, whatever it takes. I want the Denver Broncos to draft Mark Ingram.

The popular opinion has been that the Broncos need to draft a defensive lineman, and I have personally been in that camp this season. But I think the Broncos got a gem in Kevin Vickerson at the defensive end position, and while they could use some depth up front, I think their 12th ranked run defense, and performance against Chris Johnson really speaks for itself.

The Broncos' biggest weakness right now is an inability to run the ball, and we can blame a lot of things for that. You can look at the lack of chemistry on the offensive line, which just played its first game as an entire unit. You could call Laurence Maroney a bust (which he's not). You could also point to the massive amount of injuries this unit has suffered since day one of training camp.

Whatever the reason is, the Broncos need to find a remedy. That remedy should be Alabama Crimson Tide running back and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Now, before you read on, this is not a knock against Knowshon Moreno. I personally think Moreno is one of the most valuable players the Broncos have on the roster. He has big play ability, and while he hasn't been able to stay healthy this season, he is a valuable asset in the passing game, as well as the best back the Broncos have.

I am a believer that Knowshon Moreno will be the team's featured back going forward, but the "Patriots" philosophy has always been to go with a running back by committee approach. Even the Kansas City Chiefs, who already had Jamaal Charles, still picked up Thomas Jones in the offseason.

The Broncos will be a passing team under coach Josh McDaniels, like it or not. Kyle Orton has proven that McDaniels' system for quarterbacks is elite, no matter what brush you paint the guy with. McDaniels has done a great job of building this passing game, but the running game has struggled mightily.

Enter Mark Ingram, who won the 2009 Heisman Trophy and is one of the toughest runners in all of college football. He is exactly what the Broncos have lacked this season. Ingram looks for a hole on the line, finds it, and hits it at absolute full speed.

He doesn't have great breakaway speed, but he's got great quickness and power, competitiveness, and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. I can't say he is the complete package at the running back position, but he is exactly what the Broncos are missing right now.

It's going to be tough for the Broncos to obtain him unless they play poorly this season. I expected the Broncos to win 10 games this year, and still do. I also thought they could win the division with that total. That would put them anywhere from pick number 16-24. That could be a solid range for Ingram, who could easily go in the top 12, or he could go the Chris Wells route, and fall to the Broncos in the mid-late first round.

Either way, I think he needs to be high on their priority list. The Broncos have gone to the south for every one of their first round picks under Josh McDaniels, so there's no reason to believe they won't again. Plus, an All-SEC backfield of Tebow, Moreno, and Ingram sounds pretty enticing.

This move would pay huge dividends for the Denver Broncos. They will just have to wait until April to make it happen.