DeForest Buckner (DT) — 81.8
One of the most experienced and longest-tenured players on Indianapolis’ roster, DeForest Buckner continued to be a premium defender in 2023. He joins Ebukam as one of the two defensive players in the Colts’ top five.
According to Pro Football Reference, Buckner led the team with 25 QB pressures including eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He also added a career-high 81 tackles on top. Beyond the numbers, Buckner always seemed to make impact plays when the team needed him. PFF clearly recognized this and awarded Buckner an 87.1 pass rush grade, which is fourth-best among DTs in the league.
Buckner might be approaching the age of 30 but he hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet, earning his third Pro Bowl selection in 2023. In fact, Buckner’s overall 81.8 grade from PFF is one of the best marks of his career. Availability and injuries also aren’t a concern as Buckner has only missed a single game in four seasons with the Colts — and that one absence was because he tested positive for COVID-19 back in 2020. Don’t be surprised if Buckner keeps playing at an elite level for years to come.