BEREA – The Browns landed a pass rusher with the No. 6 pick in the draft – LSU’s Barkevious Mingo.
The new regime of CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi have been focused on improving the pass rush throughout the offseason and that didn’t stop in the draft. Despite Oregon’s Dion Jordan and BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah going in the first five picks, the Browns stayed the course and selected Mingo (6-foot-4, 241 pounds).
Mingo had eight sacks in 2011 and 4.5 in 2012. Les Miles, his college coach, said he would fit perfectly in Cleveland’s new 3-4 defense. He ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.
“He would be a great pick,” Miles told The Chronicle-Telegram on Tuesday. “‘Keke’ is a great young man, hardworking, cares about the team, is never late, never an issue in any way.
“His skills are exceptional. Wild skills.”
The Browns don’t have another pick until the third round Friday. But a trade back into the second round is always possible.
The other most likely options at No. 6 were Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, or a trade down.
Mingo joins outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves and end Desmond Bryant, who were added in free agency. The pick of Mingo could make Jabaal Sheard expendable, as he’s trying to convert from 4-3 end to 3-4 outside linebacker.