As the draft approaches, TFDS is making our way through the top at every position. See past posts on the main page for a look at the top 5 prospects at each offensive position. Today we start with the defense and with one of the most important defensive positions - defensive end.
The Raiders lacked a consistent pass rush last year in large part because they did not have great pass rushing talent at defensive end. Many people believe the team may be interested in drafting an elite DE in the draft, especially if they stay in a base 4-3 alignment.
1. Barkevious Mingo 6’5 240 lbs LSU
Prototypical in every way, Mingo has the speed, size and length to play in the NFL and possesses underrated strength. He’s a high-energy guy and his motor runs all the time. He follows the ball until the whistle blows which gets him involved even on downs in which the ball is initially moving away from him.
He doesn’t have a lot of pass rush moves and he needs to learn how to quickly transition from speed to power and vice versa. He sometimes struggles with pad-level issues where he comes out of his stance too high but when he gets low and bends the edge, he can be devastating.
Unlike many pass rushers, Mingo was asked to spy QBs or cover RBs in the flat as opposed to rushing the passer on most downs. I think this harmed his stock as he didn’t accrue the same amount of pass rushing stats but the film shows that when he is assigned to rush the passer he’s consistently able to get pressure.
Mingo is underrated against the run but he does sometimes have a tendency to allow blockers to lock onto him when he comes out of his stance high. He’ll be able to hold up against the run if he adds 10-15 lbs and still be able to play up as a linebacker or as an end with his hand on the ground.
Pro Comparison: Aldon Smith.