Mingo’s the man: It didn’t take a national writer embedded in the Browns’ draft room to tell us that this new regime is laying its chips down on Barkevious Mingo. Their actions showed that. But the assertions by Chuck Klosterman of Grantland.com, who was invited to the Browns’ inner sanctum on the first night of the draft, that Mingo “represents everything” in a player the Browns aspire to as a franchise, certainly adds to the pressure of being the first-ever pick of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi. The confirmation by Klosterman that the Browns turned down the St. Louis Rams’ trade offer for the 16th and 46th picks of the draft adds even more pressure to the selection. Mingo can’t be Jerome McDougle or Brandon Graham -- pass rushers who turned up busts for the Eagles during Banner’s run in Philadelphia. “Your first-round draft pick has to not just make the team, not just start, he has to be All-Pro.” That’s what Jimmy Haslam said on the day he was introduced as Browns owner on Aug. 3. Mingo will be the centerpiece of coordinator Ray Horton’s attacking, 3-4 defensive scheme. Whether or not he starts is not as important as his impact in knocking down quarterbacks and disrupting their games. The most logical comparison to Mingo is Aldon Smith, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Like Mingo, Smith was a college defensive end (at Missouri) who was projected as a 3-4 rush linebacker. Smith did not start a game as a rookie, but had 14 sacks in coordinator Vic Fangio’s aggressive 3-4 scheme and earned some recognition as the league’s best defensive rookie. In his second season, Smith took over as an every-down player, had 19.5 sacks, was named NFC defensive player of the year, and was voted All-Pro.
Barkevious Mingo must be great for Browns 2013 draft to be good
ESPN | May 13