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Colts and Darius Leonard Finalize Contract to Round Out 2018 Draft Class

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts have finally completed signing their 2018 NFL Draft class as linebacker Darius Leonard has had his finalized today.

The second-round pick was one of only 3 non-first round picks who remained unsigned by their respective teams. Now, the Colts don’t have that hanging over their heads as they roll into training camp.

Leonard was out of OTAs and the team’s minicamps with an undisclosed injury, but will now have one less issue as he joins a linebacker corps surrounded by a litany of question marks.


“Leonard set the all-time school record with 394 tackles (274 solo) while adding 53.0 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, six interceptions, eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks. He earned First Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference honors in three consecutive seasons (2015-17). Leonard was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons (2016-17).”

Leonard was a controversial pick at No. 36 overall, but has the speed, size and athleticism that Chris Ballard desires from his defense. He is good in pursuit, a viable pass rusher in certain situations and is very effective getting off of blocks to complete tackles.

Leonard being unsigned to this point was a bit unusual for a second round pick, and apparently wasn’t a concern for Ballard with only days left to report for camp.

It will be interesting going forward to see if Leonard is healthy now and ready to go as camp kicks off. How much of a hit will he take in being prepared with being out throughout the offseason program? The Colts linebacker position certainly needs him to get up to speed quickly and effectively.

Leonard has a lot to prove as a player coming out of a small school and earning a second-round designation from the Colts’ GM. Colts fans should just be glad this won’t be a distraction through camp.