Fantasy Impact: Cleveland Browns Select Barkevious Mingo
With the sixth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected OLB Barkevioius Mingo (LSU Tigers). Alabama Crimson Tide right tackle D.J. Fluker called Mingo “the best speed rusher in college football,” and there’s little question that Mingo is a very talented pass-rusher. However, his well-reported lack of upper body strength (he refused to bench press at the combine or his pro day) is actually a real cause for concern, because the tape shows him struggling to shed blockers. Now, to be fair, the level of competition Mingo faced in 2012 was substantially higher than that faced by Oregon DE Dion Jordan. However, it’s also important to note that Mingo lined up predominantly on the left side, going against the opposition’s right tackle on virtually every play, while Jordan consistently went against the opponent’s left tackle. Mingo’s inability to distinguish himself as a game-breaker against Fluker and Texas A&M right tackle Jake Matthews is a clear sign that he is really a non-elite mid-first-round talent, not a legitimate top-5 pick. At sixth overall, Mingo was probably over-drafted by 10 or so slots.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
With offseason free agent signee Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard already in tow, there’s good reason to wonder whether Sheard might be on the move in a subsequent trade. Mingo’s got a lot of potential as a pass-rusher, but there are also some legitimate concerns. All things considered, he’s a far better pick as a 3-4 OLB than as a 4-3 DE, and he’ll be playing OLB in the Browns’ defense. It’s possible that the Browns will run a rotation in 2013, which would suppress the values of all three players (Kruger/Sheard/Mingo). But if they deal Sheard, there’s a good chance that Mingo could be a Day One starter, which would significantly spike his value.