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I am thrilled to be able to introduce and welcome the newest member of the Cleveland Browns, our very own 2013 NFL Draft First Round Pick: LSU DE, Barkevious Mingo!
Barkevious: pronounced ( Bark-ee-vee-us ), is a name that should instantly endear itself to Browns fans and is a name the Dawg Pound will soon be “Barking” about on Sundays!
( In case you didn’t know, his name is rivaled only by that of his brother's: Hughtavious ).
I will take a detailed look into Mingo the player in hopes to help Browns fans better understand our pick and what we can expect from him moving forward.
Watch and listen to Joe Banner and Head Coach Rob Chudzinski’s press conference following the pick of Mingo at #6 yesterday.
Measurables are a part of the evaluating equation and tell a story about what an athlete is capable of doing physically. I don’t put a ton of stock in the measurables, rather I look to see if they show up on tape, and Mingo’s do. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: while he was not asked to, I think Mingo is capable of moving in space just as well as Dion Jordan:
Position: DE / OLB
Combine Height/Weight: 6-4, 242 pounds
LSU Listed Height / Weight: 6-5, 240 pounds
Hand Size: 9 5/8 inches
Arm Length: 33 3/4 inches
40-Yard Dash Time: 4.53 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.55 seconds
Bench-Press Reps (of 225 pounds): DNP
Vertical Jump: 37 inches
Short / Long Shuttle: 4.39 seconds / N/A
3-Cone Drill: 6.84 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.55 seconds
Broad Jump: 128 inches
Here is an entertaining look at Mingo’s athleticism and range and explosion as a pass rusher, take a quick view of this ESPN Sports Science clip posted on YouTube:
As you watch the film on our newest Browns’ OLB, Barkevious Mingo, you can’t help but recognize an extremely fluid, long, active athlete who possesses elite explosion and who’s burst off the snap is the fastest in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Mingo plays with a high motor and gives consistent effort and pursuit. In pass rush, he uses an array of spin, bull and speed rushes and has active hands at the point of contact which help create space to get around offensive tackles and once there he uses his speed and impressive closing burst to get to and disrupt the QB or ball carrier.
My biggest concern with Mingo was his talent vs. production which I will discuss below. As I watched his film and noticed his speed, fluidity in space, and explosion, I wondered why he wasn’t a more dominant and productive pass rusher? In 10 starts over 13 games this season Mingo only managed 4.5 sacks; 12 QB hurries and 38 tackles - 8.5 for a loss - which helped him earn him Second Team All-SEC honors.
But, you can’t look at college players only through a production lens. There are numerous examples of players with high production in college that don’t translate to the NFL, albeit for whatever reason. Colt McCoy is a great example; Courtney Brown is another - he had 13.5 sacks as a senior at Penn State, 55 total tackles and 29 TFL but we all know how that translated to the field here in Cleveland.
If you evaluate the entire collection of games that are available through Draftbreakdown and YouTube you will realize that Mingo was underutilized - given his pass rushing talent – and was often asked to play a "robber" type role or contain, where we see him setting the edge or dropping and disrupting passing lanes instead of rushing the passer. When he was "let loose" – most notably in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl game against Clemson - we see a pass rusher with tremendous explosion, intelligence, motor, and ability to beat linemen and get to the QB. Essentially, LSU was driving their Ferrari through a school zone most the year, but vs. Clemson they took him to the freeway and let him loose. His potential at the next level to create havoc in the backfield and consistently pressure the QB is, in my opinion, among the best in this draft class.
I view Barkevious Mingo as a Type B player: Exceptional Physical Talent – Barkevious will be a starter in his first season and will reach Pro Bowl status when fully developed; has rare athletic ability and position skills; is a top 5 - 10 selection; his college circumstances / system limited his production in that he was often asked to play a “robber” role but we saw him unleashed in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl game vs. Clemson where there are moments you find yourself saying: “Wow”.
Mingo has excellent football IQ and is able to read and diagnose run and pass plays quickly; his instincts are strong and his motor is consistent and inspired; he showed the ability to take on and defeat college tackles with his speed and length; while he does not excel on the inside rush he can be elite when he attacks the edge; Mingo was not asked to drop into coverage often but showed the ability to do so as I will show below in the film breakdown section; his hands are active, strong and give him the ability to create space while rushing the passer; his blitz and pass rush skills and abilities have yet to be fully tapped for an athlete who possesses an elite first step and an array of rush and hand moves that enable him to get free at the POA and get to the QB; his length consistently shows up on film as an advantage in that he can, as stated before, disrupt the passer even if he wasn’t able to get the sack.
John Pollard, the GM over at STATS, the world's leading sports information and technology company, always has a ton of great analytics for NFL fans to devour. First, let’s look at some production metrics among the combine participants for Pressures per 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.
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Below, we see that Mingo was clearly able to pressure the QB while at LSU this year. This is good because fans need to understand that Mingo won’t likely be not be an every down linebacker at the beginning of the season, rather he will work with Horton on other areas while focusing on maximizing his pass rush talents.
Thanks to @NU_GAP, for posting this excellent and highly recommended Statistical Analysis of the Pass Rushers. Below you will see some interesting charts that help explain some excellent qualities to Mingo’s repertoire:
I feel Mingo will need to some add weight and strength all while refining his hand move repertoire to expedite his ability to consistently get free against NFL tackles on Sundays. Barkevious spoke with 92.3 The Fan yesterday about some of the things he knows he needs to work on to prepare for the NFL and I recommend you take 4 minutes to listen to that interview HERE. If he struggles to be able to do this, he could struggle to make the transition to the 3-4 OLB position, and thus has what some consider “moderate bust potential” .
As I stated above, I did see a Talent vs. Production gap with Mingo’s play while at LSU - a theme and approach I wrote about earlier in a Do Coaching and Production Trump Talent? piece over at DawgsByNature – and below you'll see two more images thanks to John Pollard over at STATS that depict Mingo's production vs. the rest of this year’s 2013 DL field:
I feel Barkevious Mingo is a tremendous talent and in fact, I had him ranked as the 2nd best player on my Browns Specific DawgsByNature Big Board leading up to the draft – I did make a last version change prior to the draft but this is my only published version.
Mingo has the skill set and athletic qualities to become a dominating pass rusher here in the AFC North and has Pro Bowl potential. His burst off the line is elite by any standards and he will cause trouble for opposing NFL tackles. If asked to contain in play action or on plays where he can’t get to the QB, Mingo should do a good job of disrupting passing lanes and the QB / pocket. Mingo will need to add weight and continue to develop his technique to become an every down 3-4 OLB and reach his full potential.
The answer to the Production vs. Talent question can be explained by the fact that his system limited his production because he wasn’t asked to do the things that show up in the pass rushing categories as much as other players were. As I mentioned before, LSU was driving their Ferrari through a school zone but when they took him to the freeway and let him loose, he was a force.
I am a firm believer that the battle of the gridiron is a battle of inches that starts in the trenches, and adding Mingo has bolstered a defensive-front that I believe will be a dominating and imposing force in the AFC North. I believe Mingo has the highest pass rush ceiling in the draft class and Cleveland Browns fans should be excited that we have a talent like his on our defense.
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Below I will highlight and examine seven different scenarios through cut up film analysis, showcasing Mingo’s ability to effectively execute all of the following:
1. Swim Move
- Run Pursuit
- Spin Move
- Sack / Inside Shift
- Edge Bend
- Coverage Skills
- Beating a Double Team
1. SWIM MOVE:
Watch as he recognizes; stops; and then “swims” around the tackle; and then hits the QB:
2. RUN PURSUIT:
Here we see great explosion off the line; beats a pulling guard; then shows his change of direction ability to make the play vs. the RB:
Mingo shows lateral movement and quickness here; finishing the play, wrapping up the ball carrier, albeit his technique could be more polish the play was dynamic:
Same play, different angle:
Although awkward technique, Mingo manages to put his helmet on the ball, wrap up, and cause the fumble:
3. SPIN MOVE:
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 progress; as he loses balance here but is still clearly cognizant and able to beat the tackle by setting up the spin move. With a little work and polish from Ray Horton, 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:
If he keeps his balance, you can see the direct path he has to the QB and more importantly, the direct path the QB’s eye have to his unabated path to him:
4. SACK / INSIDE SHIFT:
Quick, lateral shift pre-snap. . .
The TV guy even missed circling him on instant replay he shifted so fast:
Boom. He explodes off the snap:
5. EDGE BEND 1:
In this particular play, the RB gets the hand off and the tackle pushes Mingo just past the ball carrier. However, his ability to “bend” the edge is evident:
6. EDGE BEND 2:
Here you can see Mingo use an inside arm move to rip upwards, creating space and separation from the tackle's hands and reach, freeing him up to take a direct line to the QB. AKA – “drool”:
7. COVERAGE SKILS:
Mingo recognizes the pass play, stops his rush, playing the "robber" role and locks onto the RB:
Here, Mingo uses his hands to help push the RB off balance; creating time for Mingo to recover outside 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:
8. BEATING A DOUBLE TEAM:
Mingo will bark, bite, and blow right past lineman, gaining access to a highly sought after NFL commodity: the QB’s eye’s:
9. GAME FILM:
Texas A&M; Auburn; Alabama; and Washington:
Georgia; Auburn; Mississippi State: