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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Dallas Cowboys Linked To South Carolina's Melvin Ingram

While the Dallas Cowboys have been mainly linked to defensive lineman and defensive backs with their first round pick, the latest mock draft from has Dallas taking South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram with the No. 14 pick:

For Cowboy Nation at BtB, this one's for you . . . if we're talking about replacing "Almost Anthony", there might be better options at the strong-side OLB. However, if the Honourable Jerral Wayne Jones wants pass-rush, there is no denying the explosion factor of Melvin Ingram . . . and even though HC Jason Garrett attended the Alabama Pro Day, there could be one of two Gamecocks at this choice: Ingram or Gilmore.

Ingram, a 6'1 265 pass rusher most analysts project as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL, was a consensus All-American and first team All-SEC player in 2011. In 13 games for the Gamecocks, he had 48 tackles, including 13.5 for loss as well as 10 sacks.

After an impressive showing at the Combine, where he ran a 4.79 40 and had a 34' vertical jump, he has risen up draft boards in recent weeks.

The National Football Post has him rated as the best OLB in the draft by a significant margin with a grade of 7.5, a full half point over a huge group led by Courtney Upshaw (Alabama) at 7.0

Selecting Ingram would likely mean the end of the Anthony Spencer era in Dallas, as the 2007 first round pick has never developed into a consistent pass rusher across from DeMarcus Ware.

Sports Science breaks down Ingram's incredible lower body strength:

For the latest news and analysis on the Cowboys draft plans, check out SB Nation Dallas' exclusive storystream, while Blogging The Boys is your off-season home for all things related to America's Team.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.