Mark Ingram a fit for Dolphins or Patriots

February, 25, 2011
2/25/11
4:36
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- What is the best running back in the draft worth these days?

Last season, the NFL's leading rusher, Arian Foster, wasn't drafted. The New England Patriots' backfield featured undrafted runners BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

The Buffalo Bills drafted Clemson running back C.J. Spiller ninth overall last April. He gained 440 yards from scrimmage. Undrafted veteran Fred Jackson was the featured back after the Bills traded another recent first-round pick, Marshawn Lynch.

[+] EnlargeMark Ingram
Kevin Liles/US PresswireMark Ingram is projected to be the first running back selected in April's draft.
Running backs appear more interchangeable than ever before. That might not bode well for Alabama star Mark Ingram, but it could help out the Miami Dolphins or New England Patriots.

Teams might be hesitant to use a first-round pick on a running back, causing Ingram to slide.

"I just want to go out and show what I have," Ingram said Friday at the NFL scouting combine. "If somebody wants to pull the trigger and likes what I do, likes the way I present myself and likes the way I compete ... I'm just going to go out there and do what I know how to do."

Ingram is a popular mock-draft prediction for the Dolphins with the 15th pick. The Dolphins are in need of backfield help. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are about to become free agents.

In the past 30 years -- not counting a baseball-driven Bo Jackson -- Rashaan Salaam in 1994 was the only Heisman Trophy running back to be drafted later than 14th.

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland described what he wants from a running back.

"We're looking for versatility, for sure," Ireland said Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium. "We're looking for guys that can run, catch, block, all those things. We're looking for the guys that can do it all."

Ingram considers himself the total package.

"I'm a complete, all-around back," Ingram said. "I can be in the game first down, second down, third down, goal line, short-yardage, pick up pass protections, go out of the backfield and catch the ball.

"I'm a complete back."

The Patriots draft 17th and 28th. Green-Ellis and Woodhead gave them impressive combo production, but each had his limitations.

In the Patriots' playoff loss, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan found ways to force them into throwing when Green-Ellis (not a good receiver) was on the field and running when Woodhead (an inferior runner to Green-Ellis) was out there.

Ingram played for Nick Saban at Alabama. Saban is a close friend of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Ingram's father was a wide receiver for the New York Giants when Belichick was defensive coordinator.

Ingram's dad also spent two seasons with the Dolphins.

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