CLEVELAND — With training camp right around the corner, the Cleveland Browns finally inked one of their future cornerstones on defense in Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft agreed to a four-year deal worth $16 million, with the fifth year being a team option, according to reports. A hybrid pass rusher out of LSU, Mingo is expected to play edge rush linebacker in the Browns new 3-4 in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s aggressive defense opposite free-agent signee Paul Kruger.
Down in Baton Rouge, the 6’4, 241-pound Mingo recorded 35 tackles for 3.5 sacks as a red shirt freshman in 2010.
As a sophomore in 2011, Mingo would record 47 tackles and 8 sacks. As a junior in 2012, Mingo recorded 38 tackles 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks en route to earning second-team All-SEC honors.
Going into the draft, many in Cleveland viewed former Georgia Bulldog–now Pittsburgh Steelers–linebacker Jarvis Jones as more logical choice over Mingo, as he was one of the top leaders in sacks in the country.
At Georgia, the 6’2, 245-pound Jones led the SEC in sacks with 13.5 during his junior season, in 2011 and would record 85 sacks, 24 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered in 2012 en route to being named SEC Defensive Player Of the Year by the Associated Press and winning the Jack Lambert Award for best college linebacker.
Lighter and more slight than Jones, Mingo being selected over Jones will continue to spark much debate, as the two will forever be linked, in going from playing against each other in the top-heavy SEC to the brutal AFC North, Mingo needs to produce immediately in order for fans to forget about Jones in Pittsburgh.
Now in the fold in Cleveland, Mingo will be counted on to give an anemic Browns defense a much-needed menace to AFC North rival quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco.
The only question that now remains to be asked is will he live up to it and produce?
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Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected]r.com follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber