The Browns think Barkevious Mingo is going to be a special player one day.
But today, the sixth overall pick in the draft isn’t in the starting lineup
At the moment, Mingo is working behind free agent pickup Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard, and the Browns aren’t offering anything on a platter.
“Right now, the other two guys are better,” outside linebackers coach Brian Baker said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “So, yeah, whether I’m supposed to say it or not.
“Every place I’ve been, I’ve always played the best guys and played those guys in the best positions. So if Barkevious beats one of those guys out, he’ll be a starter. Until then, they’re the starters.”
Of course, Mingo’s still learning the position, as well, adding drop and coverage responsibilities to his pass-rush talent. He had 23.5 tackles for loss the last two years at LSU, and has the tools to become that kind of threat at the NFL. But he has to learn where to go to get there.
“I’m very determined,” Mingo said of winning a starting job. “That’s the goal. That should be everybody’s goal. You want to play, you want to help the team win, but you’ve got to put in the work.
“Those are some big-time guys. It’s a learning curve. I’ve been thrown into a different position. Time will tell what the coaches think.”
Mingo’s long arms and fluidity should serve him well in his new role, and he’s apparently impressed in practice by batting down a number of passes.
But the Browns are going to keep pushing him, and keep the carrot of a starting job hanging out there, until he shows more.