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Colts Trying To Tap Into Barkevious Mingo's Potential

Intro: What are the Colts hoping to get out of Barkevious Mingo? A deeper dive into where Mingo might fit into how the Colts are rebuilding their defense.


INDIANAPOLIS – These are the sort of free agent signings you see every spring.

Former high draft picks have their rookie contracts expire. The teams that selected them a few years prior did not get completely what they were hoping for when they drafted the particular player.

So the player looks for a new home in free agency, trying to fulfill his potential with the new team hoping to break into that untapped talent.

That's where the Colts are with new outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, the former sixth overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Mingo has 7.0 career sacks in four NFL seasons. Five of those came in his rookie year with the Cleveland Browns.

The Patriots traded for Mingo last August, but used him on a grand total of 54 defensive snaps last season.

Mingo's new home acknowledges the special teams impact and is eager to try and find out if anything is still there from a pass rushing standpoint.

"Barkevious is a versatile linebacker who creates competition for our defense and special teams," GM Chris Ballard says.

"He's an athletic player who will fit in nicely with the culture we're establishing here. We're excited to see what he can bring to the table."

Mingo, 6-4 and 240 pounds, admits he didn't fully taken advantage of the opportunities given to him in three seasons with the Browns and a Super Bowl campaign with the Patriots.

In 62 career games, Mingo has yet to display the raw pass rushing talent Cleveland saw when taking him out of LSU in the top-10 of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Just playing the game of football was an afterthought of Mingo's until his junior year of high school.

Admitting that he was more prone to fouling out a lot in high school basketball, led Mingo to the gridiron, where the hitting is much more legal.

With Mingo's track and basketball career dominating his early high school life, an encouragement from a school principal to give football a try has led to the NFL.

The NFL path for Mingo has not been as direct as it typically is for top-10 draft picks.

The Colts offer another opportunity for Mingo, who signed a one-year ("prove it") contact in Indianapolis.

With the Colts, Mingo is reconnected with the first head coach of his NFL career, Rob Chudzinski.

When Mingo embarked on free agency last week he knew "absolutely nothing" about the Colts. But after doing some research, he liked what he heard, and then what he saw in person.

"I didn't know anything about the organization, but I'm glad I reached out to (past Colts) and got that insight," Mingo said.

"It definitely made the decision easier and I second everything that they said after being here and meeting with all the coaches and being in the building."

Will the fit in Indianapolis lead to seeing the rookie version of Mingo (5.0 sacks in 2013) or the one that has been relegated to special teams most recently (0 sacks in the last two years)?*

The Colts sign OLB Barkevious Mingo.

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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