Entering Week 14, the Denver Broncos sit one game back of the final playoff spot in the AFC. While the Broncos have drastically improved on defense, they are ranked only 21st in the NFL with 28 sacks.
Denver must bolster their pass rush ahead of their postseason push and adding a veteran would do the trick. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report urged the team to sign free agent linebacker Melvin Ingram immediately.
“They ditched Randy Gregory earlier this season and really didn’t do anything to replace him,” Ballentine wrote on December 4. “Baron Browning, Jonathan Cooper and Nik Bonitto all bring different things to the table as young pass-rushers, but a veteran like Melvin Ingram could round out the group nicely. Ingram had six sacks with the Dolphins last season but hasn’t found a home this season.”
Melvin Ingram Has Seen Plenty of Success in His NFL Career
Ingram, 34, was the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of South Carolina for the now-Los Angeles Chargers. He found plenty of success during his eight years with the Chargers but took until his fourth season to hit his stride.
After recording just six takedowns during his first four seasons, Ingram exploded with 10.5 sacks in 2015.
In 77 starts from 2015-19, Ingram tallied 43 sacks and was regarded as one of the league’s best pass rushers. As a reward for terrorizing opposing quarterbacks, Ingram earned three straight Pro Bowl nods from 2017-19.
Injuries hindered Ingram during his final year with the Chargers in 2020. He was placed on injured reserve twice throughout the season due to a lingering knee injury. The Chargers allowed Ingram to be a free agent after his injury-riddled campaign.
Ingram became well-traveled after signing a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers in July 2021. He played just six games in the Steel City before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in November of that same year. The former Gamecock recorded only two sacks through 15 games between the two teams.
On the move again, Ingram signed with the Dolphins in 2022 and played all 17 games. With Miami, Ingram had his highest sack total since 2019 and tied a career-high in fumble recoveries (2).
Melvin Ingram Would Bring a Wealth of Experience to Denver’s Young Pass-Rushing Core
Ingram has appeared in 145 games, including 106 starts, in his 11-year NFL career. Signing him to a one-year deal leading up to the postseason makes too much sense for Denver to pass up.
Since winning the 2016 Super Bowl, the Broncos have been inconsistent in getting to opposing quarterbacks.
The team has failed to reach at least 40 sacks since 2020 when they had 42 takedowns. Could Ingram’s pass-rushing experience give Denver a boost in the sacks department? Signing him would be a start.
Bonitto and Cooper have combined for 12.5 of the Broncos’ 28 sacks in 2023. No other player has over five sacks through 12 games this season.
The Broncos need a low-risk, high-reward player to bring out the best in the team’s young pass rushers. Ingram could be the exact player Denver needs if they have any hope of earning an unexpected playoff berth.