After playing two years together with the Cleveland Browns, Barkevious Mingo and Jabaal Sheard are reuniting as members of the New England Patriots. The two have more in common than you think.
By the time Mingo was drafted with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Sheard had been a member of the Browns for two years. In those two seasons, Sheard racked up 15.5 sacks, but he failed to match even half of that total in 2013 and 2014. Similarly, Mingo struggled in 2013 and 2014; in fact, Sheard and Mingo had nearly identical sack totals over the course of those two seasons, 7.5 for Sheard and seven for Mingo.
That both Sheard and Mingo failed to meet lofty expectations in 2013 and 2014 is noteworthy, as Sheard increased his sack total to eight in his first year with the Patriots. Might Mingo also experience a rebound in New England?
One thing that has hindered Mingo is his slight frame for a pass rusher and linebacker in general. But as Mike Reiss noted in the wake of the trade news yesterday, Mingo is well on his way toward a beefier body in 2016.
In addition to the added pounds, Mingo enters 2016 with new vigor thanks to a change of scenery. Sheard certainly responded well to being ensconced in a winning environment last year; maybe Mingo will react in similar fashion. There’s nothing like being stuck in a losing locker room like Cleveland for three, four years to motivate an underachieving player to realize his full potential.
Let’s hope that reuniting with Sheard and noticing how he’s changed since his Cleveland days will push Mingo to new heights in 2016. Who knows, maybe Sheard and Mingo will be two of the Patriots’ best pass rushers this season. One thing’s for sure: Mingo will have plenty of fire in the Week 5 tilt against his former teammates.