The consensus among NFL draft scouts is that Barkevious Mingo from LSU will probably be one of the first linebackers off of the board in the 2013 NFL Draft. That’s a problem.
Don’t get me wrong, Mingo will probably be a pretty good player in the NFL eventually. He had a good college career at LSU recording 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks his junior year.
He has the frame that teams want in a 3-4 DE/OLB at 6-foot-4 (I’ve also heard 6-foot-5) and 241 pounds. He also ran the fourth fastest 40-time among linebackers this year. Plus, dude has a segment on Sports Science. He must be good right?
Barkevious Mingo was good at LSU; not great, just good. He has a great first step at the snap and uses his momentum to explode around tackles and get to the quarterback. He ran track in high school, has great downhill speed, and can close on the ball carrier. He is a lean guy, but he is pretty physical at the line and could become even more dangerous if he puts on some muscle.
The problem with Mingo is that if you shut down his first step, you can take him out of the play very easily. He has great closing speed to get to the ball carrier, but often times he does not finish the play and make the big tackle when you need him to.
Mingo has the potential to be a disruptive linebacker with his long frame and great speed. I would not put him above a guy like Jarvis Jones from Alabama, because Jones is a factor nearly every defensive snap. Mingo compares more to Seattle’s rookie Bruce Irvin from the 2012 draft, whereas Jones compares more to a player like Von Miller with the Denver Broncos.
Mingo and LSU defensive tackle Sam Montgomery have a bet going in the NFL Draft. Whoever is drafted first wins the bet and has to pay the other. Mingo may want to bring a pen and checkbook with him to Radio City Music hall because he could slide to the end of the first round.
The New Orleans Saints should avoid taking Barkevious Mingo with the 15th overall pick. There will be much more talent than the potential risk that Mingo offers to a defense that is trying to turn a new leaf.