Browns Myth Buster #3: The Dawg Pounds Needs to Bark for Barkevious


The Cleveland Browns are good. The Browns are capable of playing very good football. The Browns have a good front office and a strong leader at head coach in Mike Pettine. The Browns have reliable pass catching weapons, a top five offensive line and the best secondary on this side of the Mississippi.

Follow along with us as we disprove each negative myth about the Browns in the offseason.

Browns Myth #3: Barkevious Mingo is a bust and will never be worth the 6th overall pick.

In the 2012 season, the Cleveland Browns played the majority of their games with Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker playing a significant amount of snaps. Where do Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker play now? I don’t know either. The Browns looked to find a pass rusher opposite of the sensational Jabaal Sheard who lined up on the other side. With the 6th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Browns took phenom Barkevious Mingo. Mingo is an athletic freak and was compared to Demarcus Ware when he was drafted from LSU, according to Mike Mayock.

Mingo showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie year, posting 5 sacks, despite his slight frame that scouts knew would hold him back in the short term. Mingo looked primed to make a big leap in 2014, but new head coach Mike Pettine decided that Mingo would better serve the team covering tight ends while dropping back in pass coverage. This led Mingo to rush the passer 119 less times than he did in 2013.

Paul Kruger had a career year at one of the outside linebacker positions and the thought of Jabaal Sheard trying to check a tight end is downright terrifying. The only outside linebacker on the Browns roster capable of doing this was Mingo, and Mingo played his role well. Mike Pettine said of Mingo, “He did a lot of those thankless jobs, and he did them well. He graded out well, at times. I just know everybody wants to just look at sack production, and for what we ask of him, that’s not his primary job.” This shows that Mingo had a good year, despite not putting up sexy stats.

Another thing to consider is that Mingo injured his shoulder in the first game of the year against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mingo could’ve shut it down and let the shoulder heal, but instead Mingo persevered for the best of the team and played with a hurt shoulder for 16 NFL games. So, if we are keeping track, Mingo has taken up a brand new role with no complaints, and grinded through an injury that made using both of his arms difficult. That’s the type of guy I want on my team.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Mingo is going to be covering tight ends the rest of his career. With the departure of Jabaal Sheard in free agency, it can be assumed that Mingo will take over Sheard’s position and that will mean increased pass rush opportunities for Mingo. Mingo posted 5 sacks as a rookie, so it’s fair to speculate that he could be anywhere between that and 10 sacks this year. With Paul Kruger holding down one side of the line and hopefully the combination of Billy Winn, Randy Starks, Phil Taylor, John Hughes, and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen holding down the fort in the middle, Mingo will have plenty of opportunities to put pressure on the quarterback and wreak havoc.

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