LSU's loss is the NFL's gain, as stud defensive end Barkevious Mingo has officially decided to forgo his senior season in favor of entering the upcoming NFL draft, joining teammates and fellow defensive linemen Sam Montgomery and Bennie Logan as early entrants.
The decision is far from surprising. Mingo left very little to prove on the college level.
ESPN's Joe Schad brings us the news.
LSU DEs Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and DT Bennie Logan will all declare for the NFL draft together according to sources.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 6, 2013
The 6'5", 240-pound end is widely projected as a top-10 pick, and for good reason.
Mingo is everything a team looks for in a pass-rusher. He is stunningly quick off the snap and has good straight-line speed. He also has an elite ability to quickly change directions.
These skills make him best suited as a linebacker in a 3-4 system with his ability to beat blockers in space. He also has the athleticism that would allow him to occasionally drop back in coverage.
However, he would fit right in as an end in a 4-3, and with a little added bulk, he would be an every-down end.
As it is now, Mingo doesn't have the strength to beat tackles when they get their hands on him, and he is still developing his skill set when it comes to pass-rush moves.
He does have elite hand quickness, but will benefit from learning how to use his hands.
It is going to take Mingo some seasoning to be elite either as an OLB or a DE, but his ceiling is through the roof. His stunning athleticism will allow him to be a force in pass-rushing from Day 1.