Colts 2023 season honors: MVP, most improved, rookie of the year, and more

Now that the 2023 NFL season is over for the Indianapolis Colts, let’s hand out some awards to the players on this year’s team.

Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jaylon Jones

This one should have gone to JuJu Brents, which is what we all would have liked to see when he was drafted with the second-round pick in the draft. However, JuJu missed time throughout the season due to injuries. Even with those missed games, Brents still had a great season.

The player that really had a fantastic rookie season was cornerback Jaylon Jones. Even though the two rookie corners had similar seasons in terms of stats, Jaylon was available for all 17 games over JuJu’s nine games played. The two of them could be lock-down corners in the right scheme and with more experience. Brents is superior, but the injury concerns will continue to derail any chance at making a large impact. Availability is key, right?

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Josh Downs

The steal of the third round in the 2023 NFL Draft, Josh Downs has already made a huge impact on the Colts offense. Downs broke the Colts rookie record for receptions with 68. Downs has proven to be an explosive weapon for the Colts and will be heavily used in the offense moving forward. As a smaller receiver, he is the perfect fit to sit on the inside and play in the slot, but could move to the outside for throws down the field.

His quick speed shows flashes of T.Y. Hilton and his play style is similar to Marvin Harrison. Downs has all of the abilities to be one of the next great Colts receivers.