How the Colts’ Darius Leonard can take the next step

The third-year linebacker is already a star, but these are steps he can take to make himself a superstar.

Darius Leonard is the closest thing the Colts have to a superstar on the defensive side of the ball. He has been more productive than anyone could’ve asked in his two years since being a second-round pick out of South Carolina State, which is in the FCS.

Leonard has made First-Team All-Pro and Second-Team All-Pro in his two full seasons with the Colts. He led the league in tackles as a rookie and has improved his coverage skills as well. Even with all of this production and talent, he still isn’t quite a superstar in this league yet.

That’s not saying that Leonard doesn’t have the skills to make that leap. He absolutely does. He just has a few things that he needs to improve on to make that jump to the next level. Once he does those things, the Colts’ defense will be lights out.

Darius Leonard needs to be more consistent for the Colts

That is the biggest thing that Leonard needs to improve upon. Early last season, there were games where he wouldn’t be his normal, disruptive self. He wasn’t able to force any turnovers or make any big stops. In fact, he only forced one turnover in the first six games of last year.

While there’s no doubt that opposing offenses were game-planning for him more last season, he still needs to make those big plays. That’s what superstars do; they make big plays when they need to. Leonard will be called upon to make more of those plays in 2020.

Next: The second-year player who will be best for the Colts

If Leonard can shore up his consistency, he will be the player that the Colts dream he can be. Doing that will vault the Colts into an upper-echelon team in the league.

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