Ingram, Gilmore invited to NFL Draft

April 13, 2012 

Former South Carolina player Melvin Ingram stretches before he worked out at USC Pro Day for NFL scouts, coaches, agents, etc.

TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate.com

Melvin Ingram and Stephon Gilmore will be among 26 players on hand to watch the NFL Draft in person in New York on April 26.

“It’ll be the experience of a lifetime,” Ingram said.

Ingram and fellow future pro Alshon Jeffery appeared Friday afternoon at Pro Bowl Motors to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans. Former South Carolina stars George Rogers, the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, and Andre Goodman, a 10-year NFL veteran, also appeared.

Ingram, a defensive end who had 10 sacks last year on the way to consensus All-America honors, and Gilmore, a cornerback who had a career-best four interceptions last year, are expected to be first round picks in the draft.

Four NFL.com analysts project Ingram will be the No. 7 overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Gilmore is projected between No. 19 and No. 22. South Carolina has only had two players drafted in the first round the same year once, in 1981 when Rogers and tight end Willie Scott were selected first and 14th, respectively.

Ingram will fly into New York on April 24 to be part of several NFL-sponsored events, including a visit to a children’s hospital. He already has purchased five suits, he said, but doesn’t know which one he will wear to the draft.

Players who are picked in the first round will appear on stage and shake hands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne are among the other players who will be on hand for the draft.

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