It is hard to imagine a player in the 2013 NFL draft that represents as much upside as Barkevious Mingo. He has the pass-rush moves, athleticism and mentality to be a dominating 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
That being said, Mingo's production at Louisiana State didn't seem to mesh too well with his otherworldly athletic ability. This should sound alarm bells for teams looking for immediate production from a player many expect to go in the initial half of the first round.
Time to take a look at Mingo as he prepares to fulfill his ultimate goal and become an NFL player.
Full Name: Barkevious "KeKe" Levon Mingo (October 4, 1990)
Hometown: Belle Glade, Fla.
High School: West Monroe High School in West Monroe, La.
Major: Sports Administration
To say that Barkevious Mingo didn't grow up under the greatest circumstances would be an understatement. His hometown of Belle Glade, Fla. has a long history of crime and disease. According to the U.S. Census, 38 percent of its citizens live under the poverty line, compared to 14 percent for the state of Florida as a whole. Its median per-capita income is a ridiculously low $14,442.
For a time during the mid 1980s, Belle Glade had the highest per-capita HIV infection rate in the United States (via Princeton.edu). Its crime rate still sits among the highest in the state of Florida.
Needless to say, Mingo has done mighty fine for himself making it out of that situation and being on the verge of becoming an NFL player.
Mingo attended West Monroe High School in Louisiana, earning All-State honors as a junior and senior. Ultimately he helped lead the school to the state championship his final season.
He was ranked 155th nationally and eighth among rush linebackers by Rivals coming out of high school. He was offered scholarships from Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas A&M before choosing LSU.
2010 (Freshman): 13 games, 35 tackles, 18 solo, 5.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
2011 (Sophomore): 14 games, 46 tackles, 21 solo, 15 for loss, seven sacks and 11 quarterback hurries.
2012 (Junior): 13 games, 38 tackles, 21 solo, 8.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries.
With just 4.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries as a junior in 2012, Mingo seemed to take a step back in terms of production. Again, if you look at sole production this has to be a bit worrisome.
He finished just eighth in tackles, fourth in tackles for loss and third in sacks on LSU's football team this past season.
Considering that the Tigers had five players along that unit that are expected to go in the first couple days of the draft, Mingo just didn't stand out a great deal.
Again, statistics mean little in the grand scheme of things.
All Statistics provided by CFB Stats
Weight: 241 pounds
Arm Length: 33 3/4"
Hand Size: 9 5/8"
Broad Jump: 128.0"
40-Yard Dash: 4.58
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.39
Three-Cone Drill: 6.84
Vertical Jump: 37.0"
Barkevious Mingo finished second among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, though it is important to note that only seven from that position participated in the drill.
His 37" vertical jump did rank sixth among front-seven players at the combine, while his broad jump ranked in the top five. This shouldn't be too surprising considering that athleticism is considered one of Mingo's biggest strengths.
All numbers provided by NFL.com
Barkevious Mingo and teammate Sam Montgomery have a wager on who goes first in the upcoming draft. They put $5,000 on the line, a bet that Mingo seems destined to win at this point.
It seems the talented young pass-rusher agrees, telling Kareem Copeland of NFL.com: "I'm pretty confident in myself," Mingo said. "He's going to be coming out of some money on that one. And I get a car wash."
Oh, did I fail to mention that part of the bet has the losing guy washing his friend's car? Yes, how times have changed for NFL draft prospects throughout the years.
Not only did Mingo and Montgomery bet on the draft, they also put wagers down on performances on the field at Louisiana State (via Copeland):
Mingo claimed he's already owed a car wash from a previous bet. Montgomery said he won a $1,000 bet for most sacks during the season and $500 for most sacks in the final game.
I am so glad they didn't walk the tightrope between fun banter and breaking NCAA rules. As it is, the money mentioned in this slide will become small potatoes to both players within the next couple months.
Does Barkevious Mingo's production seem to match up with the performances that we have seen on tape? That is the major question around the scouting community.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com answered this question in comparison to Jarvis Jones, another highly ranked pass-rusher:
I'm anxious to see where Jarvis Jones and Barkevious Mingo get picked. Jones far superior on tape, Mingo far superior in shorts.
Personally, I like Matt Miller's take on Mingo a bit better.
Barkevious Mingo is Bruce Irvin to me—for better or worse. That's what you're likely to get.
This is where you have to ask yourself whether or not you are high on Irvin moving forward. If so, does this mean that Mingo is worth a top-10 pick?
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
Go ahead and give him a follow on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL.