With one of the Indianapolis Colts best offseason signings (John Simon) being out for the majority of the past two weeks, another recent acquisition has been stepping in very nicely. Barkevious Mingo was brought in this offseason primarily thought of as a special teams contributor and wasn’t even presumed as being a guarantee to make the roster.
The Colts pass rush from the position began unimpressive as rookie Tarell Basham has come along quite slowly, and Jabaal Sheard made very little difference early on in the season. Simon was getting early pressure and making a difference in virtually every way imaginable and with him out, it left Sheard to continue his improved play and let us hope for some progression out of Basham.
However, Mingo has been very serviceable to this point adding better speed and coverage ability to the position for most of the season. The past two weeks with Simon getting injured, Mingo has pulled his weight in making up for the loss to the Colts front seven.
In getting more snaps, Mingo has actually been impactful in helping the Colts defense create turnovers, provide good coverage and tackling ability as well as getting pressure on the quarterback. Mingo has 9 total tackles, 3 quarterback hits (nearly 2 sacks), has assisted in creating a fumble — just missed creating 2 more — and has recovered a fumble as well just in the past two games.
After being the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 draft, Mingo never really excelled into being the dominant pass rusher he was billed to become, but he has been a consistent contributor everywhere he’s been and that has kept him in the league. Additionally, for what has been revealed to be a pretty awful Colts defense this season, Mingo is getting another chance to prove himself even more.
We don’t really know when Simon will return from the stinger in his neck, but the Colts pass rush looks to be improving around him in his time away. Basham earned the first sack of his career Sunday and provided a much better product than what he had to this point.
Sheard has been excellent lately and now with Mingo’s increased snaps the unit as a whole could grow into a strength for the Colts. Mingo may be showing that he has the ability to be a late-blooomer and possibly vital for the team’s growth as the transition proceeds.
Granted, the Colts aren’t looking to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs right now, but a vastly improved product on the field is absolutely possible as the second half of the Colts season gets under way. Mingo looks to be a large part of that, and if he continues to grow and produce for, both, the defense and special teams units, we could see him as more than just a depth piece for a few years into the future.