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39. Darius Leonard

Darius Leonard was a beast at South Carolina State, winning the MEAC Defensive Player in the Year in both 2016 and 2017.  The Linebacker may have played at a small school, but he was noticed and was the Indianapolis Colts gladly took him in the Second Round.

Leonard, who was given the nickname of “Maniac” by his teammates, had one of the best rookie years by a Colt. He won the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he led the NFL in Combined Tackles (163).  Conspicuously, he was not chosen to the Pro Bowl, though he was a First Team All-Pro.

Leonard missed a few games in 2019, but was still a stud Linebacker who made his first Pro Bowl.  In 2020, Leonard was a First Team All-Pro again, which was also his third straight year with an Approximate Value of at least 12.  He was even better in 2021, earning a third First Team All-Pro, a third Pro Bowl, and for the first time in his career, he was the league-leader in Forced Fumbles (8)

Entering his fifth year with the Colts, Leonard is one of the top Linebackers in football, and his stock could still skyrocket.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Acquired: Selected in the 2nd Round, 36th Overall in the NFL Draft 4/26/18.
  • Games Played: 58
  • Notable Statistics:

    58 Games Started
    11 Interceptions
    142 Interception Return Yards
    1 Interception Return Touchdown
    17 Forced Fumbles
    7 Fumble Recoveries
    34 Fumble Recovery Yards
    15.0 Quarterback Sacks
    538 Combined Tackles
    343 Solo Tackles
    195 Assisted Tackles
    30 Tackles for Loss
    20 Quarterback Hits
    59 Approximate Value

    3 Playoff Games
    1 Forced Fumble
    1 Fumble Recovery
    39 Combined Tackles
    24 Solo Tackles
    15 Assisted Tackles
    1 Tackle for Loss

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    First Team All-Pro (2018, 2020 & 2021)
    Second Team All-Pro (2019)
    Pro Bowl (2019, 2020 & 2021)
    Defensive Rookie of the Year (2018)
    PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year (2018)
    All-Rookie (2018)
    Most Solo Tackles (2018)
    Most Combined Tackles (2018)

Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2022 20:31

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