Barkevious Mingo's Refusal to Bench Press at Pro Day Should Concern NFL Scouts

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2013

Oct 20, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; LSU Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo (49) rushes the passer against the Texas A&M Aggies in the second quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prospects often use their pro days to boost their stock before the NFL draft. Unfortunately, Barkevious Mingo did nothing to help himself on Wednesday.

The LSU defensive end has been a hot name on draft boards due mostly to his potential as a pass-rusher. While he did not have a lot of production during his last year with the Tigers (only 4.5 sacks), many scouts project him to be much better at the next level.

He certainly helped his case at the scouting combine last month with a dazzling display of athleticism. He finished in the top two at his position in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill.

These numbers alone showed the overall athleticism and explosiveness that he could use to beat offensive linemen off the ball.

However, he did not workout on the bench press at the combine, leaving a little bit of doubt in the minds of scouts. Playing on the defensive line requires a lot of strength, and a potential first-round pick must show he has enough of it to succeed.

When Mingo got a chance to show off his strength at the LSU pro day, he once again elected not to lift, according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com. Although the rest of his day went well with a nice performance in individual drills, the refusal to lift remains an issue.

At this point, the former LSU star is showing that he simply does not have enough upper-body strength to compare to his peers at the position. While you can always add muscle, he has also shown that he was not willing to put the work in to improve by this point.

A lack of strength on the defensive line will allow opposing players to simply push him around. He will not be able to get into the backfield against the pass and he will be even less effective against the run. Considering he is undersized to begin with, this is a huge issue.

Unless the offensive completely forgets about him, his speed and lateral quickness will become useless.

Mingo is already a risky prospect entering the draft. His lack of production at the college level should make teams nervous about drafting him, but his high ceiling make him either boom or bust.

While he is a great athlete, it is starting to seem like he is more likely to be a bust at the next level.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.