FOXBORO, Mass. — While most New England Patriots additions are given months to acclimate to the team and system, Barkevious Mingo has been allotted just weeks.
The Patriots sent a 2017 fifth-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday to acquire Mingo, which didn’t give him enough time to play in New England’s third preseason game against the Panthers, though the defensive end/linebacker was with the team in Carolina. He’ll have just one exhibition game to get prepared for the Patriots’ Week 1 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 11.
“He’s got a lot of catching up to do,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday. “We’ve already spent a lot of time with him. He’s worked hard, put in a lot of extra hours already in the brief time he’s been here to try to absorb all the information that we give him. We’ll see how it goes.”
Mingo was selected sixth overall by the Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft, and though he hasn’t lived up to his billing, he still brings plenty of upside.
“He’s a versatile player,” Belichick said. “He’s got a lot of skills. We’ll see how it all plays out, I don’t know. He’s rushed, he’s dropped, he’s played on the line, he’s played off the line. He’s played in all phases of the kicking game. We’ll see.”
Mingo spent his first Patriots practice with the team’s outside linebackers, which suggests he’ll be asked to rush the passer and drop back into coverage. The Patriots have collected hybrid edge players like Mingo this offseason, which could help add an extra layer of deception to their defensive scheme.
Mingo likely will compete with Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Shea McClellin, Chris Long, Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom for playing time.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images