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Mingo 'battle-tested' by SEC competition

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Playing in the Southeastern Conference helped former LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo develop his skills as a pass-rusher.

When deciding who they would take with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns felt the competition former LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo faced week-in and week-out in the Southeastern Conference was close to what he will see at the professional level.

“You look at the competition; you look at the athletes, and I think it shows in the draft,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “You see a number of guys (selected) from Alabama and LSU. It’s competitive. You watch tape on it, and the speed and the power and the strength is as close to the NFL as you can find.

“He’s been battle-tested in the SEC, has played a lot, still has plenty of room for growth, but we really see him as an outstanding pass-rusher, and somebody that’s going to be able to bring that to our team.”

Mingo was one of six players from SEC schools selected in the first half of the first round, along with offensive tackles Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and D.J. Fluker (Alabama), cornerback Dee Milliner (Alabama), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (Missouri), and offensive guard Chance Warmack (Alabama).

“We played in NFL-type games week-in and week-out,” Mingo said. “A lot of those guys that got their names called early, they’re from the SEC, and it shows. We have a lot of guys that are really making an impact on NFL teams.”

Despite facing competition from a conference that has won the last seven National Championships, Mingo was an impact player for LSU. He registered 15 sacks, including a career-best eight for 60 lost yards in 2011.

He also finished his collegiate career with 27 quarterback pressures.

“One of the things you look at is not just sack totals, but disrupting, affecting and putting pressure on the quarterback,” Chudzinski said. “As you watch games and you study him, he had a lot of snaps where he did that. It wasn’t necessarily equating to sacks, but the pressures on the quarterback, the batted balls, just making quarterbacks step up, slide, have to throw on the move, he had a number of those.”

FITTING THE MOLD

When Chudzinski talked to the Browns’ front office about their coaching vacancy back in January, he made it a point to emphasize the desire to have an “aggressive, attacking defense” that would make things difficult on opposing quarterbacks.

In drafting Mingo, the Browns feel that have added a player who fits that mold.

“It’s been a priority for us,” Chudzinski said. “We want a strong front, guys that can run, hit, are relentless. Affecting the quarterback in this league is the key to winning games and the key to playing great defense. As we went through the process, looking at guys who could do that, we found some guys in free agency, and going into the draft, we felt the same way about (Mingo). It happened that he was available, and we’re happy to have him.”

FOREIGN INFLUENCE

Former Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (Detroit) and Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner (Indianapolis) were selected in the first round, and both are foreign-born NFL players.

Ansah is a native of Ghana, and Werner is from Germany. They are two of the eight foreign-born players eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft.

FISHER GOES NO. 1

The Kansas City Chiefs made history on Thursday night when they selected former Central Michigan offensive lineman Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Fisher is the first player ever from the Mid-American Conference to be chosen with the first overall pick.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the last MAC player selected in the first round, and the record-setting signal-caller was chosen with the No. 11 pick in 2004.

Fisher is only the fourth offensive lineman ever taken with the No. 1 overall pick, along with Jake Long (Miami in 2008), Orlando Pace (St. Louis in 1997), and Ron Yary (Minnesota in 1968).

DRAFT TRACKER

  1. Kansas City Chiefs-Eric Fisher (OT/Central Michigan)
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars-Luke Joeckel (OT/Texas A&M)
  3. Miami Dolphins (traded from Oakland Raiders)-Dion Jordan (OLB/Oregon)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles-Lane Johnson (OT/Oklahoma)
  5. Detroit Lions-Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (DE/Brigham Young)
  6. Cleveland Browns-Barkevious Mingo (DE/Louisiana State)
  7. Arizona Cardinals-Jonathan Cooper (OG/North Carolina)
  8. St. Louis Rams (traded from Buffalo Bills)-Tavon Austin (WR/West Virginia)
  9. New York Jets-Dee Milliner (CB/Alabama)
  10. Tennessee Titans-Chance Warmack (OG/Alabama)
  11. San Diego Chargers-D.J. Fluker (OT/Alabama)
  12. Oakland Raiders (traded from Miami)-D.J. Hayden (CB/Houston)
  13. New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)-Sheldon Richardson (DT/Missouri)
  14. Carolina Panthers-Star Lotulelei (DT/Utah)
  15. New Orleans Saints-Kenny Vaccaro (S/Texas)
  16. Buffalo (from St. Louis)-E.J. Manuel (QB/Florida State)
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers-Jarvis Jones (OLB/Georgia)
  18. San Francisco (traded from Dallas Cowboys)-Eric Reid (S/Louisiana State)
  19. New York Giants-Justin Pugh (OT/Syracuse)
  20. Chicago Bears-Kyle Long (OG/Oregon)
  21. Cincinnati Bengals-Tyler Eifert (TE/Notre Dame)
  22. Atlanta Falcons (traded from Washington through St. Louis)-Desmond Trufant (CB/Washington)
  23. Minnesota Vikings-Sharrif Floyd (DT/Florida)
  24. Indianapolis Colts-Bjoern Werner (DE/Florida State)
  25. Minnesota (from Seattle Seahawks)-Xavier Rhodes (CB/Florida State)
  26. Green Bay Packers-Datone Jones (DE/UCLA)
  27. Houston Texans-DeAndre Hopkins (WR/Clemson)
  28. Denver Broncos-Sylvester Williams (DT/North Carolina)
  29. Minnesota (traded from New England Patriots)-Cordarrelle Patterson (WR/Tennessee)
  30. St. Louis (traded from Atlanta)-Alec Ogletree (ILB/Georgia)
  31. Dallas (traded from San Francisco)-Travis Frederick (OC/Wisconsin)
  32. Baltimore-Ravens-Matt Elam (S/Florida)

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