The Patriots want depth, and the Browns want draft picks. New England trading a fifth-round pick to Cleveland this week for linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo made everyone happy, except Browns fans that bought Mingo jerseys the day after the draft.
There’s been all types of guesses on how the Patriots will line up Mingo, too, and he’s probably barely had enough time to buy a plane ticket to Massachusetts yet. Is he going to rush the passer? Set the edge? Drop into coverage? Shoot the gaps on blitzes? All of the above? Nobody knows!
That being said, the Patriots, like a lot of teams, tend to have a certain profile that they like for different positions – which makes the fact that Barkevious Mingo is almost identical to New England’s Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins, size-wise, quite intriguing.
Height-wise, they’re within a hair of each other – Mingo is a consensus 6’4’’, and Jamie Collins is listed at either 6’3’’ or 6’4’’, depending on where you look. Collins checks in at 250 pounds even. There’s a couple differing figures out there for Mingo’s weight, which Pro Football Reference still lists at 241 pounds, but he’s reportedly up to about 260 as of this summer.
The key to figuring out what type of evil plan Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia may be scheming for Barkevious may be what they can do with the man’s raw tools, as opposed to whatever he did (or didn’t do) in whatever scheme the Browns were running that week.
So let’s check out how Mingo’s combine results stack up to another combine all-star and dude who does things that human beings aren’t supposed to be able to do – linebacker Jamie Collins and his combine performance.
All these combine results are according to NFL.com.
Barkevious Mingo: 4.58 seconds
Jamie Collins: 4.64 seconds
Interesting start we’re off to here, right? Jamie Collins has spent time covering tight ends and running backs, and his closing speed is plenty fast – but Barkevious Mingo is a tad bit faster.
Barkevious Mingo: 37.0 inches
Jamie Collins: 41.5 inches
All right, so maybe Mingo isn’t pulling any Jamie Collins stunts like when Jamie hurdled the long snapper, channeled his inner Dikembe Mutombo, and rejected that extra point kick against the Colts last season. It’s more than serviceable for swatting passes, though.
Barkevious Mingo: N/A
Jamie Collins: 19 reps
Ah, the bench press, every dude’s favorite measure of strength. Just load up that bar with two plates on both sides for an even 225 pounds, and let it rip for as many reps as you can before you get tired. Jamie Collins benched 225 pounds 19 times, and Mingo…
(needle skips off the record player)
Wait, what? Mingo didn’t bench at the combine? Surely he did at his Pro Day, though…actually, no, he didn’t do the bench press at LSU either. Turns out, that was a big knock on him in the draft, with Bleacher Report writing that "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."
Brutal. But fair. Barkevious, you know Malcolm Butler did 13 reps at his Pro Day, right??
Barkevious Mingo: 128.0 inches
Jamie Collins: 139.0 inches
Decisive edge for Jamie Collins here – but given that Collins’ broad jump of 11 feet, 7 inches was a combine record until Byron Jones broke it last year, Mingo being about a foot behind isn’t exactly chump change.
Barkevious Mingo: 6.84 seconds
Jamie Collins: 7.10 seconds
Wait, Barkevious Mingo logged a faster 3-cone time than Jamie Collins? Isn’t that the drill that supposedly measures agility? Yes.
Barkevious Mingo: 4.39 seconds
Jamie Collins: 4.32 seconds
The whole point of the 20-yard shuttle drill (also called short shuttle) is to gauge the player’s ability to change direction. And if Mingo’s less than a tenth of a second behind Jamie Collins, well, that’s solid company to be in. Especially if your job description includes chasing down running backs…or quarterbacks.
60 yard shuttle
Barkevious Mingo: N/A
Jamie Collins: 11.55 seconds
Same idea as the short shuttle here. Barkevious elected to skip the 60-yard shuttle, but what’s truly bananas about Jamie Collins’ time is that it’s less than it would be if you took his 20-yard shuttle and multiplied it by three. More than a full second less, actually.
So there we have it.
Assuming that the report about Barkevious Mingo packing on some extra muscle and weighing in around 260 this season is fact, he could legitimately line up almost anywhere – edge defender, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, coverage linebacker, you name it.
You know what the best part is, though?
If Barkevious Mingo is who the Patriots think he is, maybe Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower – who played 70.97% and 54.30% of New England’s defensive snaps last season, respectively -could take a dang break every now and then.
(Or, knock on wood, if either one of them has to take some time off for an injury, things look way better than last season, when that meant it was Jonathan Freeny time.)