The Indianapolis Colts were one of the least active teams on day one of free agency. With Indy having the 7th highest cap space going in, it caused some confusion and panic as to what exactly Chris Ballard’s plan was for free agency. The Colts did finally make a move. They signed 26-year-old pass rusher Barkevious Mingo. Mingo was the sixth overall pick by the Browns in the 2013 draft. Today Indianapolis added another young pass rusher in John Simon. Simon was a fourth-round pick in 2013 also. But are these two young players going to finally be able to give Indy a consistent pass rush?
Barkevious Mingo has all of the physical traits that scouts and GM’s would look for in a 3-4 pass rusher. The only issue is his lack of production has been a disappointment. The former first rounder has only 7 career sacks in four seasons. This is concerning if the Indianapolis Colts want consistency. He was released during the 2016 season by the Browns and later signed by New England. The Patriots signed Mingo to add depth and play special teams due to his size and speed. The Colts are most likely adding Mingo because of his potential. He also gives them a rotational player for pass rushing. Indianapolis clearly has some doubt though considering they only signed him to a 1 year, $1.5 million deal. This is, most likely, Barkevious’ last shot to prove he can be an effective pass rusher and deserves a long term deal.
Some fans are a little unsure of what exactly John Simon can bring to the Indianapolis Colts defense. Simon has 10 career sacks and 120 tackles over four years. Those numbers aren’t anything special and Simon isn’t a player that will WOW you with his speed. But, he has outstanding strength, which will help him fight off larger offensive tackles to pressure QB’s and stop the run. His run stopping ability is what makes him valuable and that obviously is something the Colts must fix. This former Buckeye played defensive tackle and end in college. It’s been said he has a relentless motor and great passion for the game. I don’t think anyone has truly had a chance to see what Simon is capable of. He may very well surprise some people.
There are many free agents that are still remaining but Chris Ballard stuck to what he said about how he’d approach free agency. Ballard believes that in order to sign a player he must be a good teammate, fit their scheme, be a hard worker, and basically earn their money since the locker room is watching. With the additions of Mingo, Simon, and new punter Jeff Locke, Ballard is showing he is taking a very selective approach to free agency. Colts fans need to be patient though and understand that Ballard wants to build through the draft. And when you consider Indianapolis has six picks in the first five rounds, he has a great opportunity to do just that.