by David Syvertsen
I took some extra time to watch, and re-watch the defensive end duo from LSU this weekend. Juniors Barkevius Mingo and Sam Montgomery are widely considered to be top 10 locks for the 2013 NFL Draft. Personally, I try to stay away from the concrete statements in relation to where a player is going to be drafted at this point. A lot can and will happen between now and then. That said, I want to weigh in on the NFL potential of these ends.
Mingo has the higher ceiling of the two. He has the body that scouts and coaches dream about. At 6’4/240, he is definitely on the slender side. I don’t see him having any issues there however. DeMarcus Ware weighed in at 251 at the 2005 combine, Mingo will likely be there by April. Athletically, Mingo shows such ease at such a high speed. It seems effortless for him to spring out of stance and beat the blocker to a point. His ability to burst, stop, and spin back to the inside can disrupt a passing game by itself. Plays with low pad level and understands how to use his hands upon engagement. He shows great instincts, which surprises me because he’s only been playing the game for 6 years now. He will help a team in so many ways right away and if/when he gets his power up to NFL standard, you are talking about a potential superstar.
Montgomery may not have that top tier skill set, but there are parts of his game that lead me to believe he will have an easier transition to the next level. At 6’4/245, Montgomery plays with a strong, physical presence. Hard nosed player that gets by with excellent hand work and a relentless motor. He can stand blockers up then make his move. Understands the importance of leverage and pad level. Will surprise you here and there with a straight sprint up the edge of the pocket. There is a burst there that he calls on every now and then to simply run by blockers. A guy like this that can beat a blocker in so many ways are tough to find.
So here we are, 6 weeks in to the season. Rankings are far from final, but it is fun to see where certain guys stack up against each other on my grading sheet. Montgomery is slightly ahead of Mingo at this point because of what he can do once he is engaged with a blocker. I see better presence against the run. With that said, the season is young and I will watch Mingo another 3-4 times this year. Next time I see them will be October 20 when they face off against Texas A&M, host to the top offensive tackle duo in the nation. Talk about a scout’s dream.