The Browns selected Louisiana State University outside linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo tonight with the sixth overall selection in the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 241 pound Mingo will be expected to become a pass-rushing force in new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4, multi-front scheme.
Mingo, who played defensive end in college, compiled 38 tackles, including 8½ for loss and 4½ sacks, to go along with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries last season as a junior. As a sophomore, Mingo tallied 46 tackles, including 15 for loss and eight sacks.
The Browns chose Mingo over Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. The Browns also opted to stay put and take Mingo instead of trading down, which they were open to doing if their top target wasn't available.
Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher (Kansas City Chiefs, No. 1); Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (Jacksonville Jaguars, No. 2); Oregon outside linebacker/defensive end Dion Jordan (Miami Dolphins, who traded with Oakland Raiders to move up from No. 12 to No. 3); Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson (Philadelphia Eagles, No. 4); and Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (Detroit Lions, No. 5) were off the board by the time the Browns were put on the clock at No. 6.
Mingo will be projected to start for the Browns at right outside linebacker opposite Paul Kruger, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens last season and signed with Cleveland in March.
Here is the summary about Mingo published in Pro Football Weekly's annual draft guide: "Sinewy, angular, long-levered edge rusher with an intoxicating combination of traits you can't teach. Rare talent with potential to become a devastating open-side rusher, and will appeal to teams as an ears-pinned defensive end or stand-up rush linebacker. Best football is ahead of him."
Mingo's arrival makes Jabaal Sheard expendable. Sheard has played defensive end in a 4-3 scheme his entire life but has been forced to move to outside linebacker in Horton's 3-4 base package. The Browns now must decide whether to stick with Sheard as he attempts to make what could be a difficult transition or try to trade him.