Barkevious Mingo was winning awards before he ever took the field for LSU. Not only was Mingo one of the nation's most coveted recruits, but he won the presitious Name of the Year competition in 2009. Four years later, Mingo could well be a top-five selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and the first defensive end off the board.
Barkevious "KeKe" Mingo has been a consistent three-year contributor for the Bayou Bengals. As a redshirt freshman in 2010, Mingo registered 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss. His sack total exploded in 2011, increasing to eight, while his total tackles remained steady. In 2012, Mingo had 33 tackles but just four sacks.
Barkevious Mingo vs. Clemson (via DraftBreakdown.com)
Pros: Mingo possesses elite speed and quickness off the snap, and he had no trouble beating offensive tackles into the backfield in the nation's top conference. He has a nose for the quarterback, and showed an uncanny ability to chase down running backs from behind on the stretch play. Teammate Sam Montgomery often held up the point of attack to slow the halfback so that Mingo could clean up from the opposite edge. While he played as a 4-3 defensive end at LSU, his 6'5, 240-pound frame and speed makes him a natural 3-4 outside linebacker as well.
Cons: Mingo doesn't currently have the size or the leverage skills to effectively hold up against the run, limiting his ability as an every-down defensive end. However, he has room to add weight, and improved technique could certainly alleviate this concern. Even though he was LSU's most gifted defensive lineman, Mingo was frequently rotated due to conditioning concerns.
Mingo is currently ranked 14th on SB Nation's Big Board. Given his position versatility and elite ability, he figures to go in the top-10 picks in April's draft. He's a prime target for Philadelphia at No. 4 and, to a lesser extent, Detroit at No. 5. Mingo could fall to ninth to the New York Jets, as Mocking the Draft projects, though it is unlikely that he falls any further than that.
Here's what people in twitterland are saying about Mr. Mingo:
Maybe the best 3-4 outside linebacker fit in the NFL Draft.. LSU's Barkevious Mingo.. who could be a Pat Swilling-style pass rushing OLB.— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) January 25, 2013
1.) Barkevious Mingo - #LSU - Explosive, but raw edge rusher with a rare blend of length and speed. May fit best in 3-4 at OLB. Top 15— Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) January 25, 2013
OLB2. Barkevious Mingo, LSU - Inconsistent this year, but his combination of length and explosiveness give him tons of upside. #BurnsBoard— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) January 25, 2013
I'm a big fan of Star Lotulelei and Barkevious Mingo.— Christopher Hansen (@ChrisHansenNFL) January 26, 2013
If you want to follow Mingo on twitter, check out his handle @Mr3_N_bend
2013 NFL Combine performance:
While Mingo was light for a defensive lineman, weighing in at just 241 pounds, he was very impressive and posted one of the fastest defensive line 40-yard dash times, finishing the sprint in 4.53 seconds. Even more telling were his blazing times in the 3-cone and short shuttle drills, clocking in at 6.84 and 4.39 seconds, respectively.
The times for Mingo showed that he has the elite burst, explosion and bend necessary to develop into a sack master in the NFL. Whether or not that translates has yet to be determined; however, Mingo showed the tools are certainly there and may have solidified in the top 10 because of it.
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