The first in a series that will highlight players that could be selected by the Jets with the No. 9 overall pick in the April 25 draft:
Player: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 241 pounds
Scouts, Inc. ranking: 11
Draft projection: Fifth to 17th
Scouting report: It's all about potential with Mingo. His college production was so-so (15 sacks in three years), but he excites scouts because of his pass-rushing ability. He has an explosive burst (1.56 seconds in the 10-yard split) and demonstrates elite speed (4.58 in the 40). The Jets haven't had an edge rusher like Mingo since John Abraham. He needs some technique work, but he's durable and plays hard. The question is his size. He played last season in the 230s and added weight for the combine. Even in the 240s, he'd be undersized to be an every-down OLB in the Jets' 3-4 scheme, but I was reminded they were willing to pull the trigger last year on Bruce Irvin in the first round -- and he was 6-foot-3, 245. From the insignificant-facts department: Mingo has brothers named Hughtavious and Hugh III.
Key stats: Mingo played in all 40 games over the last three seasons. He has long arms (33 3/4 inches), which many scouts believe is a must for elite pass rushers.
Red flags: No character issues. Some question is production last season -- only 4.5 sacks. Against Alabama, LSU's biggest game of the year, Mingo was held without a tackle. Said one scout: "They wore his ass down, but he never quit. I think the kid is a ballplayer." Another question is whether he can make the switch to a 3-4 OLB after playing in a three-point stance. The Jets had a bad experience with Vernon Gholston, but Mingo has the athleticism to make the transition.
In his own words: "I think my speed separates me from every other guy in this draft. I'm a fast guy and I've got a quick first step and I like getting to the quarterback."