With the offseason in full gear, it’s time to review the 2013 season, particularly the rookies. After months of pre-draft drama, it’s important to look back and evaluate the success of each position group. If your favorite team was in the market for an offensive tackle, did they take the right one? Needed an edge rusher? Which one fell to your team?
This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.
Round 1, No. 6: Barkevious Mingo, Cleveland Browns
Total Snaps: 668
Defensive Right End: 73 (10.9%)
Defensive Left End: 22 (3.3%)
Linebacker: 573 (85.8%) *375 at ROLB
Before the season, new defensive coordinator Ray Horton installed his attacking 3-4 scheme with Mingo making the transition from college defensive end to rush linebacker. He spent 71 percent of his snaps in a standup role on the right side with 46 percent of his snaps coming in the Browns’ base 3-4 package.
Pass Rush Snaps: 336
Total Pressures: 30
Pass Rushing Productivity: 8.1
While the flashes were certainly there, Mingo struggled to get consistent pressure throughout the season. Whether he was beating LT Bryant McKinnie off the edge in 1.7 seconds back in Week 2 or making LT Cameron Bradfield look foolish with a spin move in Week 13, Mingo’s showed the necessary tools to become an elite pass rusher. However, there were a number of games where he was a non-factor as he only graded positively as a rusher in five of his 15 games. Mingo did show an ability to bat passes at the line of scrimmage as his four tied for second among 3-4 outside linebackers.
Mingo abuses LT Cameron Bradfield with the spin move:
Against the Run
Run Snaps: 263
Run Stop Percentage: 6.0
During the draft process, many analysts questioned Mingo’s bulk and ability to shed blockers in the running game, but many of his rookie year issues appeared to be more mental than physical. This was never more evident than his Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals in which he lost contain twice in the second quarter, mostly due to his aggressiveness or lack of awareness than his actually being blocked. When he was asked to take on blockers, he performed quite well – whether inline at the point of attack or taking on pulling guards – something he also did well in college at LSU.
Mingo gets inside RT Michael Oher to get in on the stop:
Coverage Snaps: 69
The transition to 3-4 outside linebacker is generally a difficult one for college defensive ends from a coverage standpoint, and Mingo certainly took his lumps. Though he only dropped 69 times on the season, he often vacated zones a bit early or missed tackles in space.
While there were some ups and downs, Mingo showed immense potential as both a pass rusher and as a run stopper. If he can find a way to get home as a rusher on a more consistent basis while shoring up some of the mental mistakes that plagued him in the running game, he has a chance to take a big step forward in Year 2.
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