Barkevious Mingo is another exciting prospect who has the pass rushing ability to become a dominant player on the next level. While Mingo has been touted as first-round pick, there is a chance he could fall to the Dallas Cowboys in next April's draft. Dallas has also shown they have been willing to trade up for a player. If Mingo is rated high on their board, the Cowboys could make a play for him.
Bio: Mingo was a highly sought-after four-star recruit who stayed close to home and committed to LSU. He redshirted in 2009 and he entered the LSU defensive line rotation in 2010. Mingo flashed his raw athletic ability in 2010, but he really came on strong in his sophomore season in 2011 racking up 15 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Mingo entered the 2012 season with high expectations, but he didn't really live up to them when he recorded just 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Positives: Listed at 6'5" and 240 pounds, Mingo has elite size and length. He's a physical freak who possess the athleticism to dominate offensive lineman. He has the frame that can afford to add another 10-20 pounds. Even if Mingo adds more weight, he is so athletic and fast that the weight shouldn't alter his game too much.
Mingo's first step off the line of scrimmage is reminiscent of DeMarcus Ware's. He is one of the fastest pass rushers that I have seen coming out college in the past few years. His acceleration is just amazing to watch because there aren't too many pass rushers who have that type of speed. Mingo has a great motor and will close in on the quarterback or ball carrier very quickly. He also has one of the best spin moves I have ever seen on the college level.
He can use his speed to blow by offensive lineman, but he is also very flexible and knows how to drop his pad level. Mingo's long arms also allow him to separate away from offensive lineman. When Mingo knows he cannot get to the quarterback, he will throw his hands up in the air. By doing that, he is eliminating the throwing lane for the quarterback. J.J. Watt is one of the best at doing that, but Mingo is very close.
Against the run, Mingo has the speed to fly into the backfield and blow up running plays. He also has the speed to chase down running plays that work the opposite side of the field. His run defense needs work, but he has shown that he can make plays against the run.
Mingo is fluid and smooth enough to play 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He would be really hard to stop standing up as a pass rusher, but he would also thrive in the 4-3 as a wide-nine defensive end. He's far more comfortable with his hand in the dirt, but he should have no problem adjusting to the 3-4 defense.
As far as character is concerned, Mingo has had no issues while at LSU. He's stayed out of trouble and is known to be a hard worker. Mingo is a very passionate player who has the ability to raise the game of the defenders around him. He could be a leader for his future NFL team.
Negatives: The biggest question mark has to be Mingo's ability to play against the run. Teams will attack him by running the ball right at him. That is the strategy most offensive coordinators are employing to take great pass rushers out of the game. Bruce Irvin had similar questions coming out of West Virginia, but that didn't prevent him from going 15th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Mingo will have to work on his strength and power moves in order to become more efficient against the run.
His long arms are a tool that he will need to utilize if he wants to become more than a pass rushing specialist. If Mingo learns how to use his hands better, then he will be able to disengage from blockers. He has all of the physical tools needed, but his technique needs work.
Mingo's 2011 tape is far superior to his 2012 tape. In 2011, Mingo was a relentless pass rusher who looked more determined to make an impact. For whatever reason, his game was not the same in 2012. Due to that inconsistency, Mingo could fall on draft night.
Conclusion: I have a hard time ranking Mingo so low on my 3-4 outside linebacker rankings, but his 2012 performance really led to his ranking on my board. Mingo is a dynamic athlete who is similar to Aldon Smith, but Smith entered the draft with less questions surrounding his overall game. If Mingo shows up and performs well at the combine, then he will rise on my rankings.
There have been some comparisons to DeMarcus Ware, but Mingo has some work to do before we can start calling him the next Ware. If he slides down to the Cowboys' range, then Jerry Jones should consider making a move for the dynamic pass rusher. The Cowboys desperately need to add more firepower to their declining pass rush. If they can land Mingo, that would be a great way to increase their pressure and sack totals.
Barkevious Mingo vs Clemson (Bowl Game - 2012) (via Adrian Ahufinger)