Vikings GM Has Strong Statement on Past Allegations Against 2nd-Round Rookie

Ed Ingram

Getty LSU guard Ed Ingram (center) was drafted by the Vikings in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings‘ selection of guard Ed Ingram in the second round of the draft was met with scrutiny last Friday.

As a sophomore at LSU, Ingram was charged with two felony counts of aggravated and sexual assault of a minor for an alleged incident that occurred when he was 15. Ingram was reinstated for the 2019 season after the charges were dropped, however, his past was brought to light shortly after Minnesota drafted him with the 59th pick in the draft.

Beyond the off-field issues, Ingram was projected to be a Day 3 pick, which added more fuel to the fires on social media considering the Vikings potentially reached for the LSU star.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the team’s decision to select Ingram, who has a shot at becoming the team’s starting right guard this season.

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‘We’re Comfortable With the Person’

After selecting Ingram on April 29, Adofo-Mensah touted the new front office’s vetting process but was prudent in sharing any background details.

“Those are serious allegations. We did extensive research with people in and around the situation, in and around the program and in and around him and we are extremely comfortable with the person but again I understand the question and why you ask it,” Adofo-Mensah said in a press conference.

When asked about what exact background work the team did, Adofo-Mensah would not share whom he spoke with but again offered assurance that he’s “comfortable with the person.”

“Lots of conversations, digging, fact-finding — like everything else we do. Again you’re trying to bet on the character of the person and that’s an issue that is serious to me and it obviously serious to everybody,” Adofo-Mensah said. “I don’t want to make light of it and I don’t want to speak up here like I’m an expert in all those things. We take that very seriously here, and again, I think we’re comfortable with the person.”

After being drafted, Ingram said he’s focused on the night and being selected by the Vikings.

“Just got drafted,” he said on draft night. “There’s been a lot thrown at me and a lot of friends and family congratulating me and it’s just a happy moment right now for my life.”

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Ingram on the Field

With Ingram’s off-field issues addressed, we can look at what drew Minnesota to select him in the second round.

Ingram earned a starting role as a true freshman and was held in high regard as one of the best up-and-coming linemen in college football. However, Ingram’s year away in 2018 derailed his development.

Ingram returned in 2019 but was not handed his starting role back. He struggled as a rotational guard on the 2019 LSU national championship team. Ingram since has been a starter and a lone bright spot on a Tigers offense that has struggled the past two seasons, leading to the departure of coach Ed Orgeron.

Ingram was the SEC’s top-graded pass-blocker with an 82.6 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade last season.

Ingram has the speed and acceleration to get ahead in the run game as well. He tested in the 90th percentile for his 40-yard dash of 5.02 seconds and ranked in the 83rd percentile for his 10-yard split of 1.73 seconds, per Mockdraftable.

Despite the impressive measurables and a strong senior season, draft analysts weren’t encouraged by the lack of development throughout Ingram’s college career, projecting him as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

Whether the Vikings selecting Ingram 59th overall was a reach remains to be seen, but Ingram’s strength and 6-foot-3, 312-pound frame give him the tools needed to earn a stake as a starter.

“Ingram displays patient movements and steady pad level in his pass sets and keeps his eyes and feet on the same page to react with rushers. He has the stun strength to turn 330-pound defenders into folding chairs, but his aggressive blocking demeanor will leave him off-kilter at times,” The Athletic’s Dan Brugler wrote. “Overall, Ingram needs to clean up his leaning and hand mechanics, but he has the explosive upper body, strong base and competitive temperament to match up with defensive interior linemen at the next level. He is scheme-versatile and looks like a future NFL starter.”

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