As is typical of Bill Belichick, the Patriots made a surprising trade last Thursday, acquiring former first-round pick Barkevious Mingo from the Cleveland Browns, in exchange for a 5th round pick.
Mingo, who was the No. 6 overall selection in the ill-fated 2013 Draft, had a mere seven sacks in 46 games. However, many analysts--including USA Today's Jason McIntyre—argues that the issue was not a lack of talent from Mingo, but rather is derived from the ineptitude of the Browns organization.
How will Mingo fit with the Patriots defense? The BBS staff is here to give our take:
Niko: Textbook savvy buy low reclamation project for Belichick (see: Akeem Ayers). I'm not even sure there is a defined role for Mingo yet, but premium pass rushing is something you cannot have enough of. With injuries to Nink and Sheard (recurring theme), Mingo joins Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom, and Shea McClellin as depth edge options. Unfortunately, with varying reports about Mingo's current weight (ended last season under 230, supposedly up over 250 now), it remains to be seen if he can play at all on the line such as in a Sheard type role last year. Several questions arose in my head when this deal was announced: Are Nink/Sheard more injured than we thought? Will McClellin/Nink play more inside linebacker than edge? Has the clock struck 12 on last years 3rd rounder Geneo Grissom's time as a Patriot, who has clearly been surpassed by Flowers this pre-season? At the end of the day, at the very least, Mingo is another versatile chess piece for Belichick and Patricia to maximize use of that they didn't have to give up much for. Sign me up.
Jacob: I absolutely love this move. There really is no downside for the Patriots. Sure, you lose a fifth-round pick, but who really cares? As a SEC guy, I saw a ton of of Mingo's college career and loved him coming out of LSU. He clearly has been a disappointment to this point in his career, but you have to consider the fact that he was brought up in the Cleveland Browns organization. Now, the versatile pass rusher is in the best organization in the sport, and will be given every opportunity to flourish as a Patriot.
Pete: I know that I am going to sound like just another Patriots honk, but this move is a slam dunk for the Pats. Mingo was an athletic freak coming out of LSU, but, like many players making the transition from college, it was unsure how he would fit in a pro-style defense. While Mingo identifies himself as a linebacker, his knack has always been rushing and pressuring the quarterback. Mingo can play outside linebacker, but he can also put his hand in the turf and come off of the edge more like a defensive end. With the uncertainty of Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich, trading for a low-risk, high-reward guy in Mingo makes all the sense in the world for the Patriots. As the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft, pro scouts had to see something in Mingo that they think/thought would translate into the NFL, and, if there is one guy that can turn his career around, it is Bill Belichick. Trust The Hoodie.