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2013 NFL Draft: Barkevious Mingo confident he can switch to OLB for Browns, avoid bust label

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 26, 2013

Barkevious Mingo weighs only 237 pounds and doesn’t have experience dropping back in pass coverage, but during his introductory news conference with the Browns, he oozed confidence about switching from defensive end at Louisiana State University to outside linebacker in the NFL.

The Browns hope Mingo conquers the transition. They drafted him sixth overall Thursday night and are counting on him to become an elite pass rusher in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4, multi-front scheme.

The 6-foot-4 Mingo is convinced his work ethic will prevent him from becoming a bust.

“At LSU, I played with a high motor,” Mingo said this afternoon. “I wanted to get there. Every play, I wanted a sack. I wanted to be in the backfield. Just having that mindset helps everything else.”

Mingo brought his mother, Barbara Johnson, and girlfriend, Lauren Tarver, to the news conference. His mom is sure he'll reward the Browns for their faith.

"I think he can hold his own," Barbara Johnson said. "He likes to eat quarterbacks."

Some believe Mingo, though, could benefit from eating more. However, he isn’t worried about being too light to excel at the next level.

“I think I can play at this weight right here,” Mingo said. “A lot of people have been telling me you need to be heavier to be in the NFL, you’ve got to be 20 pounds heavier. I actually played lighter some years in my college career, and I did absolutely fine. I weigh more than I did in college, and I don’t think it’ll be too much of an adjustment to make.”

Mingo conceded he will need to learn how to cover tight ends, running backs and receivers. He believes his athletic ability will allow him to excel.

“I don’t think it’ll be too difficult,” Mingo said. “I’m not the stiff-hip guy. I think I’m pretty mobile and move pretty well, so I think it’ll be an easy transition. I just have to work on it.”

Here are a few more topics Mingo addressed today:

On playing Browns running back Trent Richardson, a former Alabama standout, in college: “I got a lot of hits on him. But he’s a truck. He don’t got down easy.”

On choosing jersey No. 51: “It was the closest to 49 I could get.” He wore No. 49 at LSU.

On LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who could be drafted tonight when the second and third rounds are held: “He was a teammate for three years, good friend, brother. I’d love to see him in brown and orange. I’d love to see anybody from the purple and gold in the brown and orange. We’re all brothers.”

On what he told the Browns about Mathieu: “I told him he was a great teammate, a great playmaker. He had an instinct for getting to the ball and he just made plays.”

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