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Barkevious Mingo drafted by Cleveland Browns

Emerging from a haze of draft-day speculation, the Cleveland Browns ultimately stayed home, using the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to select LSU pass rusher Barkevious Mingo.

It's a choice that fills a need for the Browns and gives Cleveland a potentially scary pair of edge rushers on the heels of signing Paul Kruger in free agency. The selection of Mingo suggests that defensive coordinator Ray Horton's cries were heard in full. Horton's attacking 3-4 defense is fueled by players who can hunt the quarterback, something the Browns have done with little success since returning to the league in 1999.

The 6-foot-4 Mingo is a long, lean player who needs to log time in an NFL weight room, but he gives the Browns a tangible threat as a stand-up, weakside edge rusher. Without Mingo, the Browns were gambling that Jabaal Sheard would make the transition from defensive end to outside backer. Now Cleveland can conceivably trade Sheard, or at least give him time to grow into his new role.


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AFC North quarterbacks have feasted on the Browns for years. Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger have trotted around untouched against Cleveland in recent years. In one offseason, the Browns have added Kruger, Mingo and the ascendant Desmond Bryant to their front seven. Each of these players give the Browns a better chance to disrupt offenses in 2013.

Many expected the Browns to pursue Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, and that position remains a glaring need, but you can't have enough pass rushers in this league. It's arguably the most important position on the field outside of the quarterback, and Cleveland has grown stronger adding Mingo to the fold.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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