Indianapolis Colts starting left guard Quenton Nelson was named an AP All-Pro First-Team member again for a consecutive season, while starting linebacker Darius Leonard was awarded AP All-Pro Second-Team honors—having made the first-team last year.
While the Colts endured a disappointing 7-9 season, both Nelson and Leonard remain key cornerstones for the franchise going forward and are among the top players at their respective positions—and both short of their 25th birthdays, should be for a long time.
As the 6th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Nelson has been as good as advertised for the Colts coming out of Notre Dame—maybe even better. He’s started in all 16 games for a second straight season and has added much needed nastiness and physicality as a catalyst to an offensive line that has become one of the best blocking units in the entire NFL.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Nelson was their second best graded offensive guard (behind the Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Brooks) with a +91.2 grade overall—including a +90.1 run blocking grade.
He didn’t surrender any sacks in pass protection and only allowed 20 total QB pressures on the season—while committing just three penalties (via PFF).
Meanwhile, Leonard, as a second round steal by the Colts with the 36th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft out of unheralded South Carolina State, has become one of the biggest heists in recent draft history.
He finished this past season with 121 tackles, 5.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 5 interceptions in 13 starts. ‘The Maniac’ simply stuffs the stats sheet and makes plays.
According to PFF, Leonard was their 13th best rated linebacker with a +78.8 grade overall—featuring a +87.5 tackling grade.
Obviously, this is a tremendous honor for both players (as 2x reigning All-Pros), and it’ll be great seeing these young superstars continue to grow and improve in Horseshoe Blue.