PFF listed each team’s ‘Top 3 players’ entering the 2023 campaign and for the Indianapolis Colts, it’s a talented trio featuring running back Jonathan Taylor, offensive guard Quenton Nelson, and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner:
Jonathan Taylor 4th season
DeForest Buckner 8th season
Quenton Nelson 6th season
This exercise was a good reminder that although the 2022 season was a disaster in Indianapolis, the roster will have good talent. Taylor remains one of the best backs in the league, and though it was a quiet year for Nelson, he’s still an imposing trench player. Buckner is an impact player every year. Shaquille Leonard, Isaiah Rodgers, Michael Pittman Jr. and others are also standouts for a Colts team that could enjoy a big bounce-back year in 2023.
Also Considered: LB Shaquille Leonard, CB Isaiah Rodgers, WR Michael Pittman Jr.
Despite an injury limited season due to a lingering ankle injury, Taylor is poised to reclaim his title as arguably the best running back in all of football—if fully recovered in 2023. He features a unique combination of speed, power, and vision that’s hard to duplicate. It’ll be difficult for opposing defenses to stop both him and dynamic rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson in the RPO and running game collectively as a tandem in the same backfield.
Meanwhile, despite a down season, Quenton Nelson is still playing a Pro Bowl caliber level—even if he wasn’t his usual First-Team All-Pro self this past season. That being said, he skipped the Pro Bowl, and it seems like he’s looking to get his body right and re-focus towards next year where he’ll want to cement himself as the top guard in the NFL again.
Lastly, Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner has consistently been the Colts best player over the past three seasons—and remains in interior force to be reckoned with. One of the defensive leaders in their locker room, Buckner has long arms, strength, athleticism, and surprising quickness for a big man of his sheer stature. He’s been a great Colt.
One thing to note though is that if former Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard had a clean bill of health, who’s recovering from a second back surgery, he’d likely be on this list. While Leonard is said to be progressing in his rehab, his status remains a major uncertainty.