Jerrell Freeman first played for the Colts at the age of 26 in 2012, which also happened to be Andrew Luck‘s rookie year. He was solid in that first season, collecting a total of 145 tackles, one pick-six, and two sacks. He did that after starting all 16 games at inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
His second season though is where things really perked up in terms of game-changing plays. Freeman again started all 16 games and had a solid 126 tackles. But he also added 2 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.
That added turnover punch helped the Colts advance to the AFC Divisional round in the playoffs, which was one more round than they had advanced in the year before. Freeman looked like he was going to be a great linebacker and evolved into a Pro Bowl player.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to produce at the same level ever again. He would only play two more seasons with the Colts and only have 4.5 sacks over those next two years. He also missed 5 games over those next two seasons and wasn’t the same force.
Freeman was out of the league after the 2017 season after only playing one game into his second season with the Bears. He had one really good run with the Colts but wasn’t able to recreate it to further his career.
The second player on this list is a former teammate of Freeman who happened to play in the same unit as he did.