Canâ€™t fault Browns logic in choosing Mingo, McFadden and trading for Bess
APR 26, 2013 9:05p ET
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns moves these past two days make sense.
Read that twice if it sounds tough to grasp. But it’s true. For the first time in a long time, the Browns don’t leave their fans scratching their heads over a pick, or two.
A year ago it was drafting Brandon Weeden as a 28-year-old first-round choice. That worked out well enough to give Weeden another shot in his second season, and make no mistake the job the second season’s will be Weeden’s unless he falls on his face.
But in taking Barkevious Mingo in the first round, the Browns took the pass rusher they liked best.
In drafting Leon McFadden in the third round, they took the cornerback they liked best at that point.
And in trading for Davone Bess, they added a productive, experienced wide receiver -- a need in that group for two years.
In this draft that did not have a lot of stars and where a MAC tackle was taken first overall, there will be questions and concerns with every player.
With Mingo, it’s his size. He’s Kamerion Wimbley lite, a pass-rushing end being converted to linebacker, a guy who weighs 237 pounds. That’s light for an NFL linebacker. Mingo has to show he can succeed at that weight. His edge will be his speed and quickness.
“I think I could play at this weight right here,” he said. “A lot of people have been telling me you need to be heavier to be in the NFL, ‘You’ve got to be 20 pounds heavier.’ I actually played lighter some years in my college career and did absolutely fine. I weigh more than I did in college and I don’t think it will be too much of an adjustment to make.”
Time will tell. Just like time will tell if Mingo can make the transition from defensive end to linebacker, which requires setting the edge, covering in space and playing different coverages.
But the reasons the Browns had for taking him were sound. They wanted to keep improving the pass rush, and Mingo was the guy they wanted at the spot.
If that’s true, take him.
McFadden is a cornerback with coverage ability, but he’s 5-10, which is small in this era of the new prototype at corner being a big, physical guy like Seattle’s Richard Sherman.
“We all want 6-1 corners,” GM Mike Lombardi said. “We all want Willie Brown from the old days, but I think that’s hard to find. (McFadden) makes plays on the football field.”
Which is what a team wants. One of the Browns more reliable players in the post-1999 era was Daylon McCutcheon, and he was a 5-10 corner who played pretty well.
McFadden will get the chance to play, either at nickel or as the starter opposite Joe Haden.
Bess provides depth and production at receiver, a spot that has been upgraded this offseason with Bess and David Nelson.
The three players won’t help the Browns -- as owner Jimmy Haslam said -- go 13-3 this season.
But they are upgrades, and they make sense.
Which in the post-1999 Browns era is something.