One of the many free agent signings that the Colts made this offseason was Barkevious Mingo, the former sixth overall pick by the Cleveland Browns.
Mingo spent the last two years with the Patriots after two years with the Browns, and toward the end of his time in New England was mainly just a special teams player. The Colts signed him this offseason as a flier, hoping that he might be able to turn his career around and live up to his high potential as one of the top picks in the 2013 Draft. It’s a low risk move with the potential to pay off for a team desperate for pass rush help.
So far, at least, the signs are encouraging. The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder noted this week that Mingo “looks like a blur coming off the edge” in practices this offseason.
Granted, these practices are non-contact and without pads, so it’s hard to tell much from pass rushers - as Chuck Pagano said, you can’t tell the “finish” part of it. But Pagano did mention that you can tell a lot still, from a guy’s understanding of the scheme to his burst off the snap and other things. Speed is certainly one thing that can be noticed during these offseason workouts, too, and that’s what Mingo has shown.
He’s going to need more than just speed to be a dangerous pass rusher for the Colts, and he’s going to need to be able to finish his rushes and manage the physical part of the game too. But having a pass rusher with great speed is certainly an advantage, and it sounds like Mingo is showcasing that this offseason. That’s encouraging, if for no other reason than that he might be legitimate competition at the spot.
I’ll be honest: I’m not expecting much out of Mingo until he shows reason to think otherwise, but I do think he’s an intriguing name to keep an eye on. He’s gotten chances in the NFL but hasn’t really put it all together, but if he could for the Colts that could be a really nice, underrated signing. There’s still a long way to go, but at least it sounds like he’s off to a good start.