Post Hype Sleeper: Can Mark Ingram Finally Breakout In 2013?

According to Mike Triplett of The New Orleans Times-Picayune (click here for the article):

“Ingram got the majority of carries with the first-string offense during Monday’s practice and continued to look strong, fast and fluid. If this were Ingram’s first summer with the Saints, the buzz would probably be through the roof by now.”

Ingram rushed for 602 yards and 5 TD in 2012, his sophomore season in the NFL.

A 2011 first round draft pick (28th overall), Ingram has definitely been a disappointment over his first two NFL seasons.  He missed 6 games during his rookie season and last year failed to distinguish himself from the team’s other RB.

Darren Sproles is going to continue to be the main running back in passing downs, but he hardly carries the football (48 carries in 2012).  The back he is actually competing with for playing time is Pierre Thomas, who has hardly been a superstar over his NFL career (793 yards was his career high in 2009).

While the Saints have always seemed to take a running back by committee approach, leading to no 800+ yard rusher since Deuce McAllister in 2006, if Ingram does get 200+ carries there’s no reason he can’t reach that mark and then some:

  • 2009 – Mike Bell & Thomas combined for 319 carries and 1,447 yards
  • 2010 - Chris Ivory & Thomas combined for 220 carries and 985 yards
  • 2011 - Ingram & Thomas combined for 232 carries and 1,036 yards
  • 2012 – Ingram & Thomas combined for 261 carries and 1,075 yards

It’s obviously not that they don’t run the football, they just don’t give the carries to one back.  That could easily change this season.

Just to give an idea of his potential talent, prior to the 2011 draft Walter Football (click here for the entire scouting report) compared Ingram to Maurice Jones-Drew saying:

“‘Mojo’ and Ingram are both talented backs who have skill sets with few weaknesses. They are versatile and can hurt you as a rusher or receiver. ”

Meanwhile said (click here for the full scouting report):

“Ingram projects as an every-down back who can make an impact on the ground and in the passing game. One of the most polished running back prospects in recent memory. Has rare natural running sense in terms of vision and patience. Great short area speed and burst to hit the hole, make defenders miss, and get to the perimeter. Runs low, breaks tackles, and usually falls forward. Dangerous receiver in the screen game and as a check down. Shows good effort and awareness in pass protection.”

Obviously the talent is still there and, if the reports are true, now could be the time for him to finally flourish.  According to he currently holds an ADP of 94.0 and is the 34th RB coming off the board.  In other words, he is absolutely a player that should be targeted in all formats.

Make sure to check out all of our 2013 preseason rankings:

Breakout or Bust: Will Alshon Jeffery Emerge As A Viable Fantasy Option?
Breakout Candidate: Why The Dolphins' Lamar Miller Could End The Season As A RB1

One comment

  1. MojoSaint says:

    Funny, but those scouting reports on Ingram are exactly how he is NOT playing right now. No burst, no vision, runs high, and falls backward. Not sure what happened, but he is wasting downs for the Saints whenever he is in the lineup right now. Look at 4th down plays vs. Falcons and Bucs for examples.

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