Icon SMI - LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2012, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1.

Barkevious Mingo – No. 12

Next up in SDS’ top 25 countdown is LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo.

Mingo defines the word freak very well. At 6’5”, 240lbs, Mingo can run as well as any linebacker on the team or in the country with a 4.5 40-yard dash. While 240lbs might not be an eye-popping weight for end, Mingo has the distinction and ability to either put his hand down at end or hand up at a hybrid linebacker position.

While he does look particularly skinny on film and against 300lb offensive linemen week-in and week-out, his burst off the line of scrimmage and off the edge is much faster than your average college defensive end.

Once his 6’5” frame gets filled out, he will be an absolute terror at LSU and at the next level. I could see Mingo getting to the 250-260lb range when he fills out for good. Then, it will be game over for any offensive linemen trying to put a hat on him.

The rising junior took the SEC by storm this past season, and he was a key player who helped LSU to have a very strong defensive team in 2011. Because the defensive line was so potent and disruptive, it allowed the defensive backs to be more aggressive and make more plays. Mingo was a big part of that.

In 2011, Mingo was fourth in the SEC in tackles-for-loss with 13.5, and he was seventh in sacks with 8.0 for the year.

We all remember Mingo’s signature play of 2011 when he ran down Oregon’s LaMichael James from behind in the first game of the year (45-second mark):

And while I do agree that Mingo has a ton of upside and he’s not completely there yet, the sky is the limit for him. I think he has a big-time year in 2012 for the Tigers.

He should be a shoo-in NFL draft pick either next year or the year after. He is really fun to watch.

The Countdown: