Darius Leonard, a leader in the Colts’ locker room and game-changer on the football field, climbs 13 spots from last season and lands at No. 37 on the NFLs Top 100 list.
The life of the party.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 22, 2021
Leonard, who recently signed a five-year deal for $99.25 million with $52.5 million in guaranteed money, continues to build his legacy as he continues to climb up the Top 100 board every year. His teammates, the fans and coaches don’t call him ‘The Maniac’ for nothing.
When the Colts needed a game-altering play last season, #53 had them covered. In a late season matchup with division rival Houston Texans, Leonard, as he so often has, punched the ball away from wide receiver Keke Coutee which was recovered by the defense, sealing the victory.
In the game against the Detroit Lions, which was just a few weeks earlier, Leonard sacked then-Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and forced a fumble, stalling the Lions’ drive after Colts’ defense quickly hopped on the loose ball.
Leonard’s presence, instincts and nose for the football is what helps him stand out amongst most outside linebackers. What makes the athletic linebacker so unique, though, is that he can rush the passer and drop back into coverage if needed.
On top of being one of the most athletic linebackers in the league, Leonard is also a 3x All-Pro selectee. He was named First Team in 2018 and 2020 and named Second Team in 2019, which is the most selections by a Colts linebacker in the team’s history.
In just 2020 alone, despite missing two games, Leonard was still one of the league’s most productive linebackers last season. He garnered 132 total tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks and 7 passes defended in 14 games. The hard-hitting linebacker has quite the resume in just three seasons with the Colts.
In 42 career games, Leonard has amassed 416 total tackles — including 26 TFLs, 9 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 7 interceptions and 22 passes defended as well.
With the 2021 regular season right around the corner, Leonard, now 100% healthy after recovering from a minor ankle procedure which kept him sidelined for a few weeks of the offseason, will look to add to his already impressive resume this season.