Each year there are a few select pass rushers that come along that make your jaw drop. Physical specimens who are freak athletes but don’t have as much experience as their peers. Barkevious Mingo from LSU is one of the most intriguing pass rushers coming into the draft, because of his rare combination of size and speed. Mingo is everything you could ever ask for in a defensive end, but any team that takes him will have to teach him how to use his gift.
6′ 5″ 240 lbs.
Whenever you talk about Barkevious Mingo the one word that comes to mind is athlete. Mingo has fluid hips to change directions and the ability to jump in the air to swat the ball down, but his biggest asset is his speed. Mingo’s speed is hard to match at his position, and it’s his biggest asset. Mingo can burst off the edge to slip past the tackle and get after the quarterback, and in a new era where NFL teams are running the read-option he can keep up with most quarterback’s. It is that same speed that Mingo uses to chase down quarterback’s even when they scramble outside the pocket. Another area of Mingo’s game to love is how he keeps his eye on the quarterback. When you watch him on film he is always ready to follow the quarterback out of the pocket or jump up just as the quarterback releases the ball to deflect the pass.
Mingo continues to get better when it comes to defending the run. He quickly finds his way into the backfield and is able to blow up plays. Mingo also has the agility to change direction quickly and bring down the running back. Mingo is still inexperienced against the run, but his speed and quick first step will make him a nuisance in the backfield for an opposing offense.
While Barkevious Mingo may have the speed of an elite pass rusher, he is severely lacking in other areas. One thing you immediately notice when you watch Mingo, is how he struggles to get off of blocks. When faced with bigger, more physical defenders he will often find himself getting pushed outside the pocket and away from the quarterback. Mingo needs to spend time in the weight room building his upper body if he wants to be a more physical rusher.
Mingo uses his speed to try to beat tackles to the outside rather than physically beating them. He hasn’t developed efficient rush moves to help him slip by tackles to get into the backfield. Mingo has the athleticism and size that would be perfect for swim and spin moves, but his technique still needs to improve.
He can penetrate into the backfield, but often during games he could only get a hand on a runner as they would sprint through the line and Mingo would just miss them. He needs to improve his awareness against the run, but more importantly needs to wrap up when tackling the ball carrier. As of now Mingo would be a liability against the run, limiting his immediate value in the NFL.
Mingo projects to go in the first round and could even find his way into the Top-10 with a strong showing at the 2013 NFL Combine. Mingo is raw, but because of his size and speed some teams will fall in love with him. He will have to build upper-body strength and improve against the run before he becomes an every-down player. As a rookie, Mingo still can provide speed off the edge on passing downs.