Barkevious Mingo, the former 6th overall draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, is entering into his sixth season. A lot of analysts would say that Mingo hasn’t quite lived up to the lofty first round draft pick expectation and while that might be partially true, I have a different perspective.
Mingo’s first two seasons were decent for an edge defender who was learning a completely different scheme than what he ran with John Chavis during his time at LSU. In his third season, which is usually make a break for most rookie deals, he didn’t fair so well which lead him to be traded to the Patriots at the beginning of his fourth season. As most knowledgeable football advocates and fans know, being a Patriot on the defensive side of the ball means to be expendable.
Expendable in this case meaning to not have a secured role week in and week out. New England is the “best“ at game-planning on a weekly bases. No one is untouchable when it comes to their formula. This statement held true once again with the recent Pro Bowl CB Malcom Butler Super Bowl LII benching debacle. The fact that Mingo was active for all 16 games that year shows that he knew the playbook, which is extremely complex. However, he never really had enough opportunities to show case his skillset that made him a 1st round draft choice.
Fun fact: Mingo was only on the field for 47 defensive snaps that entire season. Kind of hard to judge or write off a player if they’re not given equal amount of opportunities to shine when it counts.
In 2017, Mingo signed with the Colts and had a bounce-back year. He showcased some positive and promising signs for his future. Finishing the season with with a career-high of 47 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, and 2 pass deflections. Playing in 501 defensive snaps last season, his third most since 2014.
Mingo’s trending play with the Colts last season lead him to striking a 2-year, $6,800,000 contract with the Seahawks. Fast forward to today and my different perspective on Barkevious’ career “disappointment.”
Below are the three reasons specifically why it’s not all Mingo’s fault and the things that these “analysts” don’t account for. Eighty-percent of players hardly control their own destiny when it comes to playing time. Now of course there’s exceptions but I’m not talking about those type of players.
1). Mingo’s pitfalls were due to mismanagements. Meaning trying to make him an every play starter. Not saying that he couldn’t potentially become one, but at LSU they managed that almost to perfection during his three years in Death Valley. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? I’m blaming that on his former coach’s egos in Cleveland.
2). Limited opportunities, personnel, and situational game planning. In less complicated terms, did he get enough snaps? Is it a heavy run personnel? Is it most likely a pass personnel? To go even further, is it big bodies coming into the opposing teams huddle or smaller bodies like wide receivers, which dictates should they put in certain players in. Every NFL team does this, the Browns just did a terrible job at doing so. With the Patriots he just didn’t get playing time. Mingo was drafted to get after the quarterback and to disrupt the timing in the backfield. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s thin, he’s lean, he’s quick, and athletic. He’s not your traditional prototype edge defender. Well, at least four years ago he wasn’t. In today’s NFL, with it being more of a passing league, he’s the norm now.
3). Mingo plays better when he has other superstars around him. Although you can make that case for every player who’s ever played the game, it’s really true in his situation. In his three years at LSU he played with bonafide ballers that made his assignment simplistic at best. Even more reason to believe he will have his best years yet and set career-highs with the Seahawks. This by far will be the most talented defense that he’s played on since college. It’s not even close.
Hopefully, I did my part of by giving you all a fresh, fair, and retrospective perspective that can change the negative narrative when it comes to Barkevious Mingo.
I know for a fact Mingo is chomping at the bit to continue his #BigRedemption.
Enjoy the breakdown.