In Part 2 of our linebacker preview for training camp, we look at the Cleveland Browns' backup outside linebackers to Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard: those players include Barkevious Mingo and Quentin Groves.
5. BARKEVIOUS MINGO - ROTATIONAL OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
If you weren't paying attention to Mike Krupka's detailed breakdown of Barkevious Mingo back in March, now is the time to go back and check it out so you have a firm understanding of what the rookie brings to the table.
Mingo has a long, lean frame and has great speed off the edge. Since he will be coming in as a backup to start the season, I think he'll be put in a position where he gets to utilize his strengths, versus being a guy who has to drop back into coverage. He can also try to use those long arms to bat away passes.
As is the case with every player you draft, the question will be, "can he avoid being a bust?" He had a versatile move set in college, but how effective will he be as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the NFL level? Some people thought that Mingo would have to bulk up a little more at the NFL level. At one point, Rob Chudzinski said the Browns would give Mingo a target weight for training camp. As of mid-June, Mingo said that he wasn't given a target weight and was told he was fine where he's at.
You also have to wonder how close Mingo is to cracking the starting lineup. Is the plan to use a consistent four-man rotation at outside linebacker, or will Mingo be phased in ahead of Jabaal Sheard by midseason? Besides Weeden, more eyes may be on Mingo than any other player in camp.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
6. QUENTIN GROVES - ROTATIONAL OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
A second-round pick by the Jaguars in 2008, Quentin Groves has bounced around to several teams. With him on the roster, the Browns might have better depth at outside linebacker than they do at any other position, which is a far cry from when Ray Horton was hired back in February.
Groves is the only player Horton brought over from his Arizona defense. He started 7 games for Arizona last year and registered 46 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Not bad.
Depending on how Mingo develops in camp, Groves could be in line for quite a few reps to begin the 2013 season. He did get in a little bit of trouble with the law after signing with Cleveland, but on a cheap two-year deal, it doesn't sound like his roster spot is in jeopardy by any means. If the Browns overpaid at all for Paul Kruger, they kind of made up for it by getting Groves for a relative bargain at 2 years for $2.8 million.
Final Roster Odds: 99%
Next up, we'll take a look at the Browns' backup inside linebackers, including L.J. Fort, Tank Carder, and James-Michael Johnson.
Today's poll asks if/when you think Barkevious Mingo will be promoted to the starting lineup.