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Barkevious Mingo was an average pick in a bad 2013 draft

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks signed Barkevious Mingo to a two-year deal in March, and I think he’s a sleeper choice for being one of the most valuable players on the roster next season. Not that he’ll be one of the best players on the Seahawks, but at a base salary of $1 million in 2018 and $3 million in 2019, he has the potential to be an absolute bargain as a starting strongside linebacker and an edge rusher on passing downs.

Seattle desperately lacked both of those things last season and while Mingo has already been labeled as a draft bust, he certainly wasn’t useless last year on the Indianapolis Colts. And that draft featured horrible swings and misses all over the top half of the first round that year.

In 2013, the top pick came down to either of the top left tackles: Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel. The Kansas City Chiefs eventually settled on Fisher while Joeckel went to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher mediocre’d his way to a four-year, $48 million extension with the Chiefs mostly because competent tackles are just that hard to find, while Joeckel underwhelmed as a tackle in Jacksonville, came to the Seahawks, and has remained a 26-year-old free agent all year.

The third pick was Dion Jordan, another player that Seattle fans are now quite familiar with.

The first good pick in the draft was Lane Johnson to the Philadelphia Eagles, a first-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2017. Next was Ezekiel Ansah to the Detroit Lions, another one-time Pro Bowler from the 2013 draft. That means that in the top five of the draft, you have a mediocre tackle, a bad offensive lineman, a terrible choice at defensive end (for as much as he’s gotten into the good graces of Seahawks fans, Jordan has still been the worst selection of that draft for the team that chose him), a good tackle, and a good-but-inconsistent defensive end.

The next 13 picks are almost all sore spots.

Mingo went sixth overall to the Cleveland Browns and was followed by: Jonathan Cooper, Tavon Austin, Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, D.J. Hayden, Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei, Kenny Vaccaro, E.J. Manuel, Jarvis Jones, and Eric Reid. Of those 13 players, 10 changed teams before last season, while the other three (Lotulelei, Vaccaro, Reid) left their teams during this offseason, with the latter two still not finding homes.

That means that in the top 18 picks of the 2013 draft, there’s been almost no quality starting value. The fact that Seattle has signed five of those guys, well, you have to take that up with your God.

So in the sense of Mingo being a draft bust, that’s undeniable. However, in the context of the draft he was in, Mingo has been at least average considering that Joeckel, Jordan, Cooper, Austin, Milliner, Warmack, Fluker, Hayden, Manuel, and Jones have also done just about nothing in their careers. And it’s hard to blame the Browns for taking their swing-o at Mingo.

6’4, 241 lbs, 33.75” arms, 4.58 40-yard dash, 37” vertical, 10’8 broad jump.

He had the same 40-time as wide receiver Ace Sanders, and he was just .01 behind DeAndre Hopkins, who weighed 214. He was faster than teammate Spencer Ware, who ran a 4.62 at 228 lbs. He had the same vertical as Cordarrelle Patterson, and leaped higher than Denard Robinson, Milliner, and Hopkins, who has “hop” in his name. He had the same broad as Patterson and another teammate-who-went-to-Seattle, Tharold Simon. He had a better broad jump than Christine Michael and Desmond Trufant. And his 3-cone time of 6.84 was better than teammate Tyrann Mathieu — of course all of this made him the most athletic and impressive linebacker at the 2013 combine, including when measured against Jordan.

However, his frame, often described as “lean” throughout his high school, college, and NFL career, has perhaps also held him back from being a dominant pass rusher or linebacker. People have said “system wasn’t a good fit” all along, but maybe Mingo just isn’t a great fit for defenses that can be consistently utilized in today’s game. The Colts have been his best fit yet, but obviously Pete Carroll sees him as a good player for strong side in what the Seahawks want to do otherwise they would not have signed him for two years.

It’s all about the context.