ARIZONA CARDINALS

NFL.com’s Reuter: Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram among favorite picks

May 4, 2022, 7:56 AM | Updated: 8:04 am

Keaontay Ingram #28 of the USC Trojans dives for the touchdown during the second quarter against th...

Keaontay Ingram #28 of the USC Trojans dives for the touchdown during the second quarter against the Oregon State Beavers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals drafted a running back in the sixth round who they believe can contribute early.

Keaontay Ingram is a 6-foot back who ran for 911 yards and added 156 more as a pass catcher for USC last season after playing three years at Texas.

NFL Network draft analyst Chad Reuter saw the vision, listing Ingram as one of his favorite picks from the weekend.

James Conner played well for the Cardinals in 2021, but finding a dual threat to replace Chase Edmonds, who signed in Miami this offseason, was necessary. Ingram has the rushing and receiving skills to fit the bill. He’s adept at setting up defenders in the hole or in the open field and accelerating past their advances, as well as squaring his shoulders and running through contact. I suspect he’ll see a lot of work as a rookie and will step in if Conner misses time due to injury.

Arizona’s running back corps behind Conner consists of Eno Benjamin, Jonathan Ward and now Ingram.

Benjamin, a 2020 seventh-round pick from Arizona State, had 34 carries last year filling in when injuries hit the position group. He also handled some kickoff return duties.

Ward, a 2020 undrafted free agent signee, only ran the ball nine times in 2021 but has carved a greater role for himself on special teams.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told reporters that Ingram can contribute in multiple facets. He called the former Trojan a physical, downhill runner who is good at special teams.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Ingram’s addition adds competition to the room.

Conner has never had more than 215 rushes in a season and got banged up and missed a pair of games late last season.

The Cardinals looked for more depth in free agency, reportedly meeting with former Kansas City Chief Darrell Williams.

They now have three young players behind Conner who all bring different elements to the table.

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