Cleveland Browns: Why Barkevious Mingo didn’t succeed
The Cleveland Browns traded former first-round pick Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots Thursday afternoon.
The Cleveland Browns are continuing the rebuilding process by letting go of a player who never panned out in Cleveland.
News broke early Thursday afternoon that the Browns traded Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots.
The initial terms were not clear, but the Browns got a draft pick in return, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
The sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft spent his first three seasons with the Browns, all under eventually fired head coaches Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine. While the young linebacker from Monroe, Louisiana appeared promising, recording 29 tackles and 5 sacks in 15 games played during his rookie year, the changes made during the offseason leading up to 2014 stunted Mingo’s potential growth.
2014 was not a productive season for the second-year linebacker out of LSU, as he recorded just two sacks and 26 tackles. Last season was even more of a struggle for Mingo, as he failed to get to an opposing quarterback, and made just 13 tackles in 16 games.
While Mingo had the look of a possibly elite pass rusher, his 6-foot-4, 240 pound frame was never able to get the job done. As was the case with the majority of Cleveland linebackers the past three seasons, Mingo was often confused and misaligned. When the young player did have opportunities to make significant plays, he often missed due to lack of experience and discipline.
But the reasons for which Mingo never worked out as a Brown are not entirely his fault. After all, he was not placed in an environment made easy for him to succeed. Being the final first-round selection of the Joe Banner era, Mingo never played for consistent leadership. Mostly, the front office he competed for was in complete disarray.
Also, the different position coaches and coordinators he had clearly caused confusion and provided little effective coaching which would allow Mingo to develop into a pass rushing threat.
Additionally, the fact that the defensive line was also never able to help the linebackers out made Mingo’s transition from college to the NFL much more difficult. He was often put in less than ideal situations, and was forced to make plays which were far from his strengths.
Mingo was drafted to rush the passer, but he was too busy stopping running backs ten yards down the field. Also, since Cleveland’s defense rarely blitzed or sent seven pass rushers, Mingo was never given the opportunity to thrive in the facet of his game in which he is the strongest.
This isn’t to say that Mingo will never succeed in the NFL. In fact, becoming a member of the Patriots may be the best moment of his career thus far. Former Browns head coach and current New England coach Bill Belichick will provide the atmosphere which will allow the young linebacker to succeed. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will also become a stable coach for Mingo to learn from with a consistent scheme.
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Not many Browns fans will mourn this transaction, especially not this one. After all, Mingo was one of the staples of the many failed draft picks made by a failed front office. In some ways, Browns fans will see this move as yet another way to move on from a forgettable past.