July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Browns get defensive with pick of Barkevious Mingo

BEREA — The Browns could be forgiven if they sprang to their feet and yelled “Bingo” on Thursday night when it was their turn to pick.

LSU pass rusher Barkevious Mingo was Cleveland’s focus in the first round of the NFL Draft. When he was available with the No. 6 pick, the Browns ignored offers to trade down, hurried to turn in the pick and grabbed the guy with the best name in the draft.

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Barkevious (bar-kee-vee-us) is a natural for the Dawg Pound.

“It is very fitting,” Mingo said with a laugh on a conference call. “Mom just kinda made it up. She just wanted it to be different, I guess. She felt Barkevious was different.”

The Browns chose Mingo rather than a cornerback or a quarterback.

Mingo played defensive end at LSU for three years under coach Les Miles, an Elyria High graduate. Mingo will convert to outside linebacker in Cleveland’s new 3-4 scheme, but the Browns are confident he has the athleticism necessary for the position. Most importantly, they expect him to put pressure on the quarterback. He had 15 career sacks.

“He’s a gifted athlete, explosive, great speed off the edge, developing player, plenty of room for growth, and we see an outstanding pass rusher,” first-year coach Rob Chudzinski said.

Mingo said he had no idea where he would be picked, but raved about his predraft visit to Cleveland. His tie Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York was brown and his pocket square orange.

“It’s my favorite color,” he said of the square. “I just had a really good visit going there. I fell in love with the city and now I have a chance to play there.”

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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