It's game day. It's nearly 8am and fans are already gathering to tailgate. Anticipation and excitement are building. Fans are barking and chanting: "Here we go Brownies, here we go: Woof! Woof!"
It goes without saying that a name like Barkevious endears itself to Browns fans and lends itself perfectly to the inner Dawg Pound fan in all of us. . . not to mention my next piece: Browns' Potential Draft Target: LSU DE, Barkevious Mingo. Pronounced ( Bark-ee-vee-us ) Barkevious' name is rivaled only by that of his brother's: Hughtavious.
As you watch the film on Barkevious, you can’t help but recognize an extremely fluid, long, lean athlete with elite explosion and among the fastest first steps in the 2013 NFL Draft. He plays with a high motor and contributes well against the run. He uses an array of spin, bull and speed rushes and has active hands at the point of contact that help him create space.
Many want to compare Mingo to Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks / West Virginia but the comparison really ends with their athleticism. Irvin, the much maligned first round draft pick taken last year at #15, ended up finishing last season with 8 sacks to lead all NFL rookies, adding one additional sack in the playoffs. Mingo managed only 4.5 sacks at LSU this season. Irvin managed 8.5 sacks in his last season at West Virginia.
My biggest concern with Mingo is his talent vs his production. He certainly has the speed, the fluidity in space, and the explosion to have been much more dominant and productive. Yet in 10 starts /13 games this season he only managed 4.5 sacks; 12 QB hurries and 38 tackle - 8.5 for a loss - which helped him earn him Second Team All SEC honors.
That being said, if you watch the collection of games that are available through Draftbreakdown you may agree that Mingo was slightly underutilized - given his pass rushing talent – and was often asked to drop from his edge rush into a "robber" type role, where we see him disrupting passing lanes. When he was "let loose" in games like the Chick-Fil-A Bowl game against Clemson, we see a pass rusher with tremendous potential at the next level who was able to create havoc in the backfield and consistently pressure the QB.
Barkevious is a long, lean, explosive athlete who possesses a fast first step and an array of rush and hand moves to get free and get to the QB. He possess the physical attributes that may be appealing to talent evaluators:
NFL Combine Results:
40 yard: 4.53 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.55 seconds
Broad Jump: 128" or 10’8"
3 Cone Drill: 6.84 seconds
Josh Norris recently shared just how athletic, quick, fluid, and fast Mingo is, as indicated by his 3 stellar cone drill:
Barkevious Mingo is tied for fourth in the 3-cone since '06. Devin Taylor is 9th. Other top performers include Irvin, Acho, Ingram, Barwin..
Barkevious Mingo is tied for fourth in the 3-cone since '06. Devin Taylor is 9th. Other top performers include Irvin, Acho, Ingram, Barwin..— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 26, 2013
John Pollard, the GM over at STATS, the world's leading sports information and technology company, always has a ton of great stuff for NFL fans to devour. First, let’s look at some production metrics among the combine participants for Pressures/Snap:
Studying DEs, sample group of top prospects came out this way when measuring Pressures/Snap:1) Ansah 2) Mingo 3) Okafor 4) Werner 5) Jordan
Studying DEs, sample group of top prospects came out this way when measuring Pressures/Snap:1) Ansah 2) Mingo 3) Okafor 4) Werner 5) Jordan— JohnPollard (@JPSTATS) February 16, 2013
Below, we see that Mingo was clearly able to pressure the QB this year. We can assume that pressuring the QB would be a role Mingo would be asked to fill in Ray Horton's defense. So even though Mingo didn't register lots of sacks he did get pressure on the QB:
One of my concerns about Mingo is that he predominately played with his hand on the ground as a 4-3 DE. If the Browns are considering him, can he play the OLB in Hortons scheme? HIs athleticism certainly makes me think he can, and Dion Caputi - NFL Draft Analyst and Writer over at the National Football Post - shard this about Mingo beginning to transition into a 3-4 OLB:
Barkevious Mingo is not Von Miller, but I think we're seeing him make his transition to 4-3 OLB today. Playing in space, utilizing agility.
Barkevious Mingo is not Von Miller, but I think we're seeing him make his transition to 4-3 OLB today. Playing in space, utilizing agility.— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) February 25, 2013
Production and strength.
I agree with NFLPhilosophy - a former NFL Operations Coordinator - with his thoughts below:
I like Barkevious Mingo's athleticism, but I have a real tough time believing he can hold up at the POA in the NFL. Lot of learning to do.
I like Barkevious Mingo's athleticism, but I have a real tough time believing he can hold up at the POA in the NFL. Lot of learning to do.— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) February 28, 2013
For me, this is something that I kept coming back to when trying to project Mingo as an NFL 3-4 OLB. He may need to add some weight and definitely will need to add strength at the next level. He'll certainly have to refine his pass rush and learn better technique, including better hand play to get free against NFL tackles.
Matt Miller - NFL and Lead Draft Writer at Bleacher Report - had this to share:
Very hard to get a read on Barkevious Mingo's stock. Some people I talk to have him top 5, others 20-25.
Very hard to get a read on Barkevious Mingo's stock. Some people I talk to have him top 5, others 20-25.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 26, 2013
And lastly, more split opinions on Mingo prevail, this one from NFL Network's esteemed Draft Expert, Mike Mayock:
You should be able to see that there is a talent vs production gap - a theme I wrote about earlier in my Do Coaching and Production Trump Talent? piece here at DBN. Below we'll see two more images thanks to John Pollard over at STATS that depict Mingo's production vs the rest of this years 2013 DL field:
Barkevious Mingo is a tremendous talent. He has the skill set and athletic qualities to be a dominating pass rusher at the next level. His burst off the snap is elite. He has a good stock of pass rush moves to develop at the next level. Mingo does a good job of disrupting passing lanes when unable to get to QB. He shows good hand usage but will need a lot of work in this area at the next level. Questions need to be answered whether he can play at his current weight and if he has the strength to consistently get free from NFL level tackles.
If the Browns are to consider taking Mingo @ 6, they would have to be confident that his talent will render production at the NFL level with proper coaching and motivation. He certainly doesn't have the versatility that Dion Jordan brings and if Jordan is there @ 6 he is the player I prefer. But if Jordan is gone, and Mingo is on the board, he could certainly be the name called to address the pass rush vacancy on the Browns.
It's hard to gauge where he falls on NFL draft boards. Ultimately, I would be thrilled to land Mingo in a trade back where we orchestrate something with the Jets or Buffalo and only give up a few spots and gain a 2nd or 3rd round pick this year. The bottom line for me is that Dion Jordan > Barkevious Mingo, but he may not be there when we pick and Mingo might have the highest pass rush ceiling of the group.
I want to highlight and look at 7 different scenarios:
- Swim Move
- Run Pursuit
- Spin Move
- Sack / Inside Shift
- Edge Bend
- Coverage Skills
- Beating a Double Team
We've seen the explosion off the line, and he's beat the pulling guard, showing his change of direction:
Here you see Mingo show lateral movement and quickness, also wrapping up the ball carrier is a plus:
Same play, different angle:
You can see the lateral movement, although a little awkward, he manages to put his helmet on the ball, wrap up, and cause the fumble.
Again, an explosive release, well ahead of everyone else. Mingo is able to get the tackle to lean inside due to his burst then leverages that for his spin move:
It's a work in process, he loses balance but still is clearly able to beat the tackle. With a little work, this could be a deadly move:
Same play, different angle:
Here you can see the tackles weight shifted onto his left foot, leaning in that direction:
SACK / INSIDE SHIFT:
Quick, lateral shift pre-snap. . .
The TV guy even missed circling him on instant replay he was so fast:
Here's where he explodes off the snap:
EDGE BEND 1:
In this particular play, the RB gets the hand off and the tackle pushes him just past the ball carrier:
EDGE BEND 2
You can see him use his inside arm to rip upwards, creating space and separation from the tackle's hands, thus freeing him up to take a direct line to the QB:
Mingo recognizes the pass play, stops his rush, playing the "robber" role and locks onto the RB:
Mingo uses his hands here to help get the RB off balance and create time for him to recover and get in cover position:
It's hard to see in this clip but easier in the next how he gets his head around to look at the QB, a good trait to see:
Stride for stride, looking back at QB with help over the top:
BEATING DOUBLE TEAM:
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