The New Orleans Saints are looking to draft a defensive player in the upcoming draft. Many Saints’ fans are throwing an LSU Tiger’s name around. Tyrann Mathieu is a talented, football-instincts smart player, but is he the Tiger the Saints should be looking to snare?
It’s with a resounding no that I can say in all confidence that Mathieu is not the Tiger the Saints nor their fans should be looking at. Both former LSU Tigers Barkevious Mingo and Kevin Minter are looking like the types of players a defense can depend on.
Minter and Mingo played on the same defense with the LSU Tigers from 2010 to 2012. In that time, they compiled a total of 20 sacks between them. Minter garnered 15 sacks in his career at LSU. Mingo had 5 sacks while playing for the Tigers.
Kevin Minter came on strong late at LSU as he also had 15 tackles for a loss in his 2012 campaign. What makes Minter so appetizing is his ability to make plays, and with the speed he has to get to the ball carrier, the learning curve for the NFL will be less. Minter played with a knowledge of the game most seniors don’t have. That’s what made in invaluable in his Junior season at LSU. This is exactly why he was a such an outstanding player at LSU. It should be pointed out last, but not least that Minter in all his greatness couldn’t have accomplished what he did without the contributions of the defensive line in front of him.
One of those players in front of him was Barkevious Mingo. Mingo is a growing force to be reckoned with. At 6’4″ and 241lbs, Mingo will surely add an element of speed to whatever defense he joins. Mingo had 15 tackles for loss in 2011, but faded to only 8 TFL with 4 sacks in 2012. This shrinking in numbers would have to be contributed to the deep and rich talent field at LSU. Make no mistake about it, Mingo would be a First-Team All-American if he was playing somewhere else. Mingo is a late comer to football as he only began playing in his junior year in high school. This hasn’t stopped Mingo from rising to the top of the boards at this combine as a top performer. Mingo was only a .01 seconds of being tied for the fastest time in the 40 yard dash for a Mingo in some cases is at an advantage if you can believe it.
While many players like Minter and Manti Te’o have nearly reached their peak performance in college, Mingo has not. Teams know what they’re getting with seasoned players like Minter. In the case of Mingo the raw talent has yet to be full realized into football IQ. Some “experts” say Mingo is a Jackpot or bust pick. I will say, no such thing at all. The only thing Mingo is going to bust is some heads and expectations. Mingo’s upside is huge. Those who would say he’s a potential bust haven’t watched enough film of him. Mingo may not be all Hulked-out, but his speed and ability to make hits that are solid make up for his “size” problem.
One thing is for sure, if a team chooses either Mingo or Minter, they will not be disappointed. The M & M boys from the bayou are a self-contained wrecking crew. Could they end up on the same team? Maybe. If that happens, I only see their collective stock going up. Either way, the boys from LSU are going to crack some head while they turn others.
- Barkevious Mingo says he’s getting bigger and faster (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- 2013 NFL Draft: Barkevious Mingo Prospect Profile (withthefirstpick.com)