After spending his first three seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Mingo was traded to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick. The linebacker called the move a "culture shock" because of the "winning spirit," per Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald (h/t Jared Dubin of CBS Sports).
However, his season with the Patriots didn't match expectations. Although he played in all 16 games, he was mostly used as a reserve defensively and on special teams, totaling just 11 tackles.
The Colts will look for the 26-year-old to tap into the potential that made him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Mingo was a quality pass-rusher at LSU who showcased his athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine, ranking among the best at his position in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill, per NFL.com.
Although this has only led to seven total sacks in the NFL, the physical tools are still there for Mingo to make an impact at this level if he is put in a position to succeed.
The young player showed this year he can at the very least contribute on special teams, but the upside is there for a bright season with this opportunity. The Colts will hope he can upgrade a pass rush that managed just 33 sacks last year, tied for 19th in the NFL. That contributed to the team's giving up 263 passing yards per game, 27th in the NFL.
If Mingo can finally live up to the expectations that made him such a high pick, he could be one of the bargains of free agency for a Colts team in need of a playmaker on the edge.