8 Indianapolis Colts
Offense: OG Quenton Nelson · Defense: LB Darius Leonard
The fact that Nelson qualifies for this list as a guard tells you just how good he is — and it also explains why new Colts quarterback Philip Rivers should be grinning from ear to ear. Since Nelson was drafted sixth overall in 2018, Indianapolis’ offense has averaged 120.3 rushing yards per game (ninth in the NFL in that span) while allowing just 50 sacks — six fewer sacks than the team allowed in 2017 alone. Leonard, chosen 30 picks after Nelson, has made a serious impact as a bedrock of the Colts’ defense. He’s collected 284 tackles, 12 sacks, seven interceptions, 15 passes defensed and six forced fumbles in his first two seasons, and he should be an even bigger force at weak-side linebacker in 2020, thanks to the addition to the interior of elite defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard hit a game winning grand slam with his loaded 2018 NFL Draft class which is led by the likes of Nelson and Leonard.
Each has become an All-Pro in consecutive seasons for the Colts since entering the league.
Nelson is the top offensive guard in football, while Leonard is the best young linebacker in the sport (and if not for Bobby Wagner, could be considered the best linebacker in the NFL).
This Colts ‘dynamic duo’ has laid the foundation for future greatness in Indy on both sides of the ball—as each player is a bonafide young superstar for the Colts.
Still each hovering around 25 years old, Nelson and Leonard should both be franchise cornerstones for the Horseshoe for plenty of years to come—and there’s no ‘Batman and Robin’ here just ‘The Dark Knight and The Caped Crusader’.