After a monstrous game against the Redskins, Darius Leonard turned plenty of heads. His play so far makes him the most exciting Colt on the defensive side of the ball in some time. If he continues like this, then the Colts will have one of the top linebackers in the NFL.
27 total tackles (Leads NFL), a sack, a pass deflection, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery just through two games this season. Darius Leonard is everything the Colts could have hoped for when they picked him with their first second round pick of this year’s draft.
So far, Leonard has established himself as the best linebacker for the Colts and looks to be, along with safety Malik Hooker, the future building blocks for Indy’s defense.
Many fans were not hyped by Leonard, a small school product that was kicked out of Clemson due to academic reasons. The production was there, the level of competition was not. He was seen as perhaps a raw project that could develop into a solid starter down the road.
Leonard has challenged that notion. In Week 1 against Cincinnati, making his professional debut, Darius finished the game with a team leading 9 total tackles and also recovered a fumble. He exploded in Week 2 against the Redskins, posting the best stats I have seen from a Colts linebacker probably ever. 18 total tackles, a sack, a pass deflection and a forced fumble.
Leonard showcases his impressive athleticism along with solid instincts and proper technique. Keep in mind this guy is still a rookie. He will further continue to develop. For now, the Colts seem to have found their linebacker of the future.