The Cleveland Browns have selected LSU DE Barkevious Mingo with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Possesses rare length and burst off the snap -- comes off the ball very quickly and gains an impressive edge with first-step speed. Gains pass pressure by rocketing past tackles' outside shoulders before his blockers can establish their pass set, and gaining on quarterbacks after plays have broken down. Not a bull-rusher per se, but is able to generate impressive power through his speed when taking blockers straight on. Has an embryonic spin move that could be devastating if he develops it -- for now, it's more of a bailout move. Very quick defender from sideline to sideline. Clearly has the quickness to break off into coverage. Takes the occasional play off, but is generally very good at keeping his motor running, and he'll become especially dangerous when the offense is forced to improvise.
Cons: Played end for LSU but will likely have to transition outside to linebacker to best exploit his speed in the pros. Generally runs straight at, or around, tackles, and needs a far more comprehensive and consistent array of hand moves and counters to make his edge velocity work. Struggles to dislodge from blockers; tends to wrestle at the line more than he pursues at times. Comes off the snap high at times and can be blocked out pretty easily by tight ends and running backs. Forward motion player who struggles to redirect off the rush. Stunted inside a bit but needs to work on that aspect of his game some more.
What he brings to the team: Upside, but question marks. Though he played end for the Tigers most of the time, I'm not sure that's Mingo's best position -- unless he develops many of the techniques required to be elite in the NFL as a pass-rusher. Right now, he gets away with things against lesser tackles that tend to render him invisible against better blockers, and that issue could expand through his early pro career. He's not really a "boom-or-bust" player; more the kind of player who needs to learn a few things he should have been taught in college.
Was it the right pick? In this system, very possibly. I liked the idea of the Browns getting an elite cornerback to pair with Joe Haden, but defensive coordinator Ray Horton could use Mingo in a lot of different ways. The Browns now have a formidable front line.