The Colts had a great crop of rookies this season. Now that the season is over, it’s time to recap how each rookie was able to perform. We move on to the first of the three second round picks the Colts made.
The Colts are in great position for the future. A large reason that is the case is because of how good the rookie class performed this season. They were able to play a large role in the success of the team. No one did more to help the team than Darius Leonard.
Leonard was a second round pick out of South Carolina State. Leonard was an impact player as soon as he stepped on to the field. He was able to make big plays all over the field. Leonard was so good as a rookie that he was named first team All-Pro.
The crazy thing is that he was named All-Pro without being named to the Pro Bowl. That shows that there is a clear flaw with the Pro Bowl voting system. Leonard was furious after that, but his play was recognized by people who really know the game.
Leonard led the league in tackles with 163, had 7 sacks, 2 picks, and 4 forced fumbles this season. He did all of that in 15 games. Leonard gives the Colts something they haven’t had in many years; a playmaker from the linebacker position. He is someone who needs to schemed against.
Chris Ballard deserves a lot of credit for drafting this guy. He looked like a star from the start of training camp. That was proven to be true throughout the entire year. Now that he has a taste of NFL speed, he is only going to get better in the next few years.
Having a guy like Leonard on the defense can change the franchise dramatically. It already did in his first season and it will only get more impactful as time goes on.