First impressions make quite an impact, and Barkevious Mingo's first impression immediately endeared him to the Cleveland media on Friday. There's a lot to like with the Browns' first-round pick, and while the bottom line is delivering on the field, it's easy to see how and why the Browns fell in love with him.
Looking more like a basketball player than an NFL linebacker, the lean, 237-pound Mingo took the stage, holding his new # 51 jersey. He laughed, saying he chose the number because it's as close as he can get to his college number, 49 (fellow linebacker James Michael Johnson wears # 50). He proceeded to smile throughout the entire press conference.
My favorite story came when I asked him why he didn't start playing football until his junior year of high school. He said his mother Barbara was afraid to let her kids play contact sports. Her fears shifted once she did see him play, because, as she told me, soon she was afraid for the opponents. Keke was that good, that fast.
My second favorite story came when I asked him if he really didn't know he was coming to Cleveland, when he sported a brown tie and orange pocket square at the Draft. He insisted it was pure coincidence. I asked "what if the Steelers drafted you?". He answered, with a laugh, "they would have been pissed off".
How's that for a first impression?
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