A complete breakdown of the LSU defensive end.
Barkevious Mingo | Defensive End/Outside Linebacker | LSU | 6'5'', 240 pounds
2012 Stats: 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks
The sack numbers dropped, the tackles for loss number dropped, and so to did the public's perception of LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo. But the talent is still there in spades. While he wasn't as productive as many thought he would be in 2012, Mingo showed the same talent level.
Te 2013 NFL Draft doesn't have many slam dunk prospects at the top, so Mingo could be in play for teams in the top 10 come April. After all, he stands to benefit as much as any player in this class at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Mingo spent most of his time at LSU with his hand in the dirt, displaying his explosiveness off the snap from both spots. He has the length and first snap to get a huge advantage on offensive tackles coming off the ball.
A standout athlete, Mingo will have no issues dropping back in coverage at the next level. He flips his hips well and has enough change of direction ability to stick with his man in open space. He wasn't asked to do this often at LSU, but his skill set suggest he has the ability. Mingo also covers a ton of ground on the field due to his speed, which he flashes in bunches.
As a pass rusher, Mingo presents a ton of upside. In addition to the aforementioned length and explosiveness, Mingo has the ability to bend around the edge and maintain his balance when getting after the quarterback. Some knock Mingo for a lack of a counter move, but he has a somewhat useful spin move that I noticed in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Mingo has a narrow frame, but he holds the point of attack well in the running game. He's a sound tackler as well. The physicality in his game surprises some because of his size. He also uses his length to get his hands in passing lanes when he's unable to get after the quarterback.
Mingo's lack of production is a concern for a lot of people. More concerning to me is Mingo's hand use. He is a strong player with the explosiveness to get the corner on offensive tackles, but he allows blocker to get inside him too often because he doesn't know how to use his hands. This shows up in run defense as well, as Mingo will struggle to disengage from blocks at times.
Speaking of Mingo's run defense, he needs to develop some awareness in this area of his game. Part of run defense is knowing when to disengage from a block to be able to make plays. He tends to get to caught up in his one-on-one battle and doesn't locate the football in time.
His narrow frame will raise questions about his ability to an every-down defensive end. He may need to make the switch to 3-4 outside linebacker.
Mingo's upside is through the roof and more than warrants a top 10 pick in April's draft. Sack numbers never tell the whole story when it comes to a pass rusher, and Mingo is a prime example. He got more pressure than the stats indicate and will be an immediate impact player at his position if used properly. Mingo needs to work on his pass rush moves, but if he learns how to use his hands, we could be looking at the league's next great pass rusher.
NFL Comparison: DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
This comparison has been made a bit and it fits. Ware wasn't the most productive player in terms of sacks in college, but his skill set translated to the NFL. We all know how that has worked out. Mingo will have to refine his game to reach Ware's level, but he has the pure athletic ability to get there.
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