Leonard ascended from the 37th overall spot from last season, so this was a bit of a leap—although he was the second highest rated linebacker behind the Dallas Cowboys Micah Parsons.
Since being selected by South Carolina State in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Leonard has consistently become one of the league’s best linebackers.
He has sideline-to-sideline speed and range and can make plays all over the football field—including his vaunted punch-outs. At his current scorching pace, he’s a future Hall of Famer.
Leonard is coming off a season for the Colts in which he recorded 122 tackles (75 solo), 8 passes defensed, 8 forced fumbles, 8 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions during 16 starts.
While Leonard was slowed to start the season with an ankle injury, he eventually rounded into his NFL All-Pro caliber form again—and was a bonafide NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate for the Colts in 2021, with a whopping 12 total takeaways.
Leonard’s return for the 2022 campaign is still up in the air, fresh off of offseason back surgery. However, if he makes a full recovery, he should continue being one of the best overall defensive players in the NFL, period.
He’s a dynamic force for the Colts in the second level of their much improved defense.