Couldn't agree more. Berman is one of the top 10 (wait...let's double check ESPN's roster...), top 5 talents ESPN has. In fact, I propose a White House petition to bring back, back, back, back, back the Berman/Jackson NFL Primetime.
These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Barkevious Mingo*, DE/OLB, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.60. Projected Round (2013): Top-20 Pick. 1/30/13: Mingo had a disappointing season which has proven that he should be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. The junior is very undersized and not strong enough to be a 4-3 end.
Mingo was on fire against Clemson. He was a disruptive presence and was dominating the right tackle. Mingo produced some sacks and other tackles for a loss before having to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an abdominal issue. He really helped himself in that bowl outing, and it was probably his best performance of 2012.
Mingo played well versus South Carolina. He picked up four tackles and a sack, and had other pressure on quarterback Connor Shaw. Mingo started out well against Florida a week earlier. He pressured Jeff Driskel to help force a sack for Bennie Logan. Logan ripped the ball out and Mingo recovered the loose ball inside the Gators' 10-yard line. He was getting pushed around in the ground game during the second half, and Florida had a lot of success running at him.
D.J. Fluker, Alabama's right tackle, struggled all year in pass protection, yet Mingo was a non-factor against him aside from two plays. Mingo drew a holding penalty and batted down a third-down pass attempt, but overall, Fluker kept him from making an impact against the Crimson Tide.
Mingo recorded his first sack of the year versus Towson. He came close to a number of sacks against Auburn and Washington, but put regular pressure on the quarterback. Mingo saw a number of double-teams his direction in 2012. He had 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and 4.5 sacks in 2012.
8/27/12: Mingo is a fabulous athlete and a pure speed-rusher. The sophomore was constantly making plays in the backfield last season. Mingo recorded 46 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and a forced fumble in 2011. The lower weight gave him some problems in run defense, so he'll need to add strength for the next level. Mingo had 35 tackles with 2.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and six passes batted as a freshman.
Mingo was more disruptive and had more pass pressure than his 2011 sack total indicates. He helped create sacks for fellow end Sam Montgomery by flushing quarterbacks towards Montgomery. With a great supporting cast around him, Mingo looks poised for a huge 2012 season.
Like Montgomery, Mingo should be able to add weight as he has a tall frame. Mingo and Montgomery are capable of producing huge seasons that vault them to the top of their draft classes.
Bennie Logan*, DT, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 287. Projected 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 1/30/13: Logan totaled 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, three passes broken up and two sacks in 2012. He was more disruptive than the numbers indicate, but he struggled against Alabama and its NFL-caliber offensive line. Logan has some pass-rush ability and forces quarterbacks to get rid of the ball faster than they intend to.
8/25/12: Like most of LSU's front seven defenders, Logan is an extremely fast defender who has special athleticism. He combined with Michael Brockers to form a superb interior duo for the Tigers in 2011. Logan recorded 57 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. He was a backup as a redshirt freshman in 2010.
If Logan can add more weight and produce more sacks in 2012, he could rise high in the first round. Logan is very fast and has the makings of a three-technique pass-rusher in the NFL.
Kevin Minter*, ILB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 245. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2012): 1-2. 1/30/13: Minter (6-2, 242) was phenomenal in 2012. The junior was the most consistent player on the Tigers' defense, and that is saying something considering all the NFL talent LSU had on its stop unit. Minter totaled 130 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, four sacks, five passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception. He recorded 61 tackles with sack and forced fumble in 2011.
Minter is fast and hits with authority. He was a real difference-maker for the Tigers. Minter is a good form-tackler with plus instincts. He never hesitates to get physical.
Sam Montgomery*, DE/OLB, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 260. Projected 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 1/30/13: Montgomery put together a quality season. He played well against Alabama, totaling three tackles and a sack, plus recovered a fumble. On the other hand, Montgomery was shut down by Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel. The Aggies tackle kept Montgomery from getting any pass rush and moved him out of the way in the ground game. He totaled just two tackles and a pass batted.
Montgomery played a lot better against South Carolina compared to his performance versus Florida. He had two sacks and a forced fumble against the Gamecocks. Montgomery looked much better run defense as well.
The redshirt junior was more disruptive than his totals indicate. He recorded 37 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks in 2012. There is talk that he has a poor work ethic.
The added bulk that Montgomery packed on over the 2011-2012 offseason looks like it is assisted him in shedding blocks this season. He also looks more explosive another year removed from the knee injury that knocked him out in 2010.
8/27/12: Montgomery had a breakout sophomore season and led LSU's talented defense in sacks. The Tigers' defensive line was comprised of future NFL linemen with the potential for multiple first-round picks. He totaled 49 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and one forced fumble in 2011.
Montgomery was a key cog in LSU having the second-ranked scoring defense in the nation and the second total defense. He considered entering the 2012 NFL Draft, but decided to finish his degree.
Montgomery had 18 tackles with six tackles for a loss and two sacks as a freshman. He is a dangerous speed-rusher who needs to add weight for the NFL. Montgomery has a big frame, so he shouldn't have any problem adding more bulk for the next level. Montgomery is another year removed from knee surgery, so he could be even better in 2012.
Eric Reid*, S, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 212. Projected 40 Time: 4.45. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 1/31/13: Reid had an inconsistent junior year to hurt his draft stock. He seemed to miss Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Taylor. Reid's splash plays were down, and he didn't have as large a presence. Reid especially needs to improve his pass-coverage skills for the NFL. He was burned through the air throughout 2012. Reid probably should've gone back to school to improve before going pro.
The juniot started this season with a mixed outing against North Texas. He had seven tackles, an interception and a pass broken up, but also was burned for two touchdowns. Reid struggled in run support versus Florida and took some bad angles with weak tackling attempts. He played better against South Carolina and Texas A&M with a mixed outing against Alabama. Reid again was beaten for big passing plays in LSU's bowl game with Clemson.
Reid totaled 91 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up this season.
9/2/12: Reid had a breakout 2011 season. He was part of phenomenal secondary with safety Brandon Taylor and cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu and Reid tied for the team lead with 76 tackles each. Reid also had two interceptions, two tackles for a loss, three passes broken up and two forced fumbles. He was a Second-Team All-SEC pick in 2011.
Reid stepped up and played his best football against the best competition. He had a huge game in the first contest against Alabama and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week as he recorded six tackles with an interception and forced fumble. The sophomore had 11 tackles in the rematch.
Reid had 32 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman. He is a good athlete and instinctive. Additionally, Reid has good size and is a hard hitter. His job won't be easier in 2012 as Taylor and Claiborne have moved on to the NFL with Mathieu getting kicked off the team. Other safeties have been exposed in similar situations, but Reid has the talent to step up.
Chris Faulk*, OT, LSU
Height: 6-6. Weight: 325. Projected 40 Time: 5.19. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 2/9/13: Faulk was out for the season after suffering a knee injury in practice a few days after the 2012 opener. He would have been better off returning to LSU and playing in 2013 and possibly 2014 before going pro, but he entered the draft. It is possible that Faulk falls into late rounds like Florida State tackle Andrew Datko did last year.
8/23/12: Faulk had an excellent sophomore season at left tackle for LSU. He was a good pass-blocker and a road grader of a run-blocker. Faulk has a lot of athletic ability and the potential to be a special player. He had some issues in pass protection in the National Championship Game against Alabama. His first performance of the year against the Crimson Tide was much better.
Faulk saw his first playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2010, making two starts at right tackle. He competed and won the left tackle starting position leading into the 2011 season. If Faulk can improve his pass protection, he could go early in the first-round next April. Faulk will have a number of opportunities to shut down speed-rushers. There is no reason to think that the reshirt junior won't continue to improve as he gains experience.
Tharold Simon*, CB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 193. Projected 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 1/31/13: The LSU secondary lost the four of its top five players prior to the 2012 season. Simon won a starting spot as a replacement for Morris Claiborne and totaled four interceptions with 45 tackles and nine passes broken up. Simon had two interceptions and 42 tackles as a backup in 2011. He is a big corner who has some physicality to him. Simon would probably fit best in a zone system in the NFL.
Michael Ford*, RB, LSU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 2/16/13: Ford ran for 392 yards on 71 carries (5.5 average) with three touchdowns in 2012. The Tigers continued to employ a big variety of running backs, so it was hard for any of them to really standout.
8/16/12: Ford ran for 756 yards and seven touchdowns last season. The rotation with Ware hurts Ford's production. He barely led the team in rushing, and the Tigers had three backs go over 500 yards on the ground.
Tyrann Mathieu*, CB/S, LSU
Height: 5-9. Weight: 175. Projected 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 1/31/13: As expected, Mathieu went ahead and declared for the 2013 NFL Draft. LSU kicked him off the team late last summer, and he decided to check into a rehab facility for substance-abuse issues rather than transferring down a level to play this season. The off-the-field issues continued for Mathieu with a drug arrest alongside some former teammates in October.
The honey badger was one of the best defensive players in college football during the 2011 season. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and had a massive impact for the Tigers. Mathieu plays much bigger than his measurements, and anyone who watched LSU the over the 2010 and 2011 seasons can't help but see that he is a pure football player with off-the-charts instinct.
Mathieu led the Tigers in tackles in 2011 with 76. The sophomore also had 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and nine passes broken up. LSU lined him up as an outside corner, slot corner and safety. He was very dangerous in the slot. Additionally, Mathieu served as a punt returner in 2011, averaging 16 yards per return with two brought back for touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder was a dynamic play-maker for the Tigers since Day 1. As a freshman, Mathieu compiled 57 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, two interceptions, seven passes broken up and two interceptions.
Spencer Ware*, RB, LSU
Height: 5-11. Weight: 223. Projected 40 Time: 4.57. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 2/16/13: Ware had 367 yards on 94 carries (3.9 average) as part of a committee approach this season. LSU literally gave carries to five different running backs.
8/16/12: Ware was the starting back last year, but he finished second on the team in rushing. LSU regularly rotates its backs and, while that keeps the backs fresh, they are unable to put together big statistics. Ware ran for 707 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. With the running back-by-committee approach, it could be hard for any of the Tigers' running backs to have a breakout season in 2012.
Brad Wing**, P, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 184. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 2/9/13: Wing averaged 45 yards per punt this season and wasn't the force he was in 2011. Wing was suspended for the Chik-fil-A Bowl for violating team rules. He is entering the 2013 NFL Draft as a result.
9/3/12: Wing was phenomenal for LSU in 2011. He was a First-Team All-American and First-Team SEC selection. Wing put up a superb stat line with an average of 44.1 yards per punt (50 total punts), 23 downed inside the 20-yard line, 11 downed inside the 10-yard line, 18 punts of 50+ yards and a long punt of 73 yards. It was his first season punting for LSU after redshirting in 2010.
The sophomore enters the 2012 season as the top punter in the nation.
Alex Hurst, OT, LSU
Height: 6-6. Weight: 340. Projected 40 Time: 5.19. Projected Round (2012): FA. 2/9/13: After the Florida game, Hurst missed the rest of the season dealing with a personal issue. His potential return to football is unknown.
Hurst helped himself in the early going of 2012. He was fabulous against Washington, blasting open holes in the ground game. Hurst was the blocker who the Tigers ran behind the most, going behind him with success in critical short-yardage situations and on the goal line. He is a road grader as a run-blocker.
The senior's pass blocking was improved, but he was moved to left tackle due to the absence of Chris Faulk and had some rough moments against Florida. Hurst did his best to pick up outside blitzers, but his left guard was terrible at adjusting with him.
8/23/12: Hurst had a lot of good games blocking for LSU in 2011. He was a tough run-blocker and did a quality job in pass protection. Hurst should stay at right tackle and is not a candidate to move to left tackle. He has good power and technique. Hurst struggled in both games against the Crimson Tide's edge rushers. He probably needs to drop some weight and improve his mobility for the edge-rushers in the NFL.
Hurst took over for the right tackle position after Joseph Barksdale left LSU. Hurst is a massive blocker who has great strength. He is a leader on the offensive line and has won a lot of awards in the program for his work ethic and weight-room dedication. Run blocking is Hurst's strength. He needs to improve his ability to block speed-rushers.