Four Colts make CBS Sports’ top 100 players of 2023 ranking

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

CBS Sports recently ranked the NFL’s top 100 players entering the 2023 season, and the Indianapolis Colts had four players who made the list.

Top 100 player rankings have become a big thing for the NFL, and the 2023 offseason has reached that point. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently ranked the top 100 NFL players of 2023. Despite the Indianapolis Colts coming off an underwhelming 4-12-1 season, they were well represented on the list.

While the team success wasn't there for the Colts, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Prisco made that clear by including four Colts players in the top 100. The four Indianapolis players listed were Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, DeForest Buckner, and Shaquille Leonard. Stephon Gilmore was also ranked, but he’s now with the Dallas Cowboys.

CBS Sports ranks Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, DeForest Buckner, and Shaquille Leonard in top 100

Taylor was the highest ranked Colts player at No. 36. Prisco highlighted how a bad offensive line and an ankle injury limited Jonathan Taylor’s production in 2022. Taylor only played 11 games last season, running for 861 yards and four touchdowns. If healthy, Prisco expects Taylor to look like the back he was in 2021 when he led the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

Quenton Nelson was the next Colts player on the list at No. 59. Prisco acknowledged that injuries affected Nelson and pointed out that he hasn’t been as dominant as he was when he first entered the NFL. That was clear this past season when Nelson had an extremely uncharacteristic year. However, he’s still one of the best players in the league and everyone is expecting a bounce back.

A few spots behind Nelson was DeForest Buckner at No. 65. Unlike the other Indianapolis players on this list, Buckner didn’t really have an underwhelming season individually. He played in all 17 games and recorded eight sacks, 74 tackles, 11 for a loss, and forced two fumbles. He’s a big part of Indy’s solid defense.

The biggest part of Indianapolis defense is Shaquille Leonard. Although he pretty much missed the 2022 season, he still squeezed on to the list at No. 98. Prisco acknowledged that Leonard was hard to rank because of the injury, but ultimately chose to add him because he expects Leonard to be healthy for the 2023 season.

When Leonard is healthy he’s one of the best players in the league and the Colts are a much better team. That’s really the case for all four of these players. If Taylor, Nelson, Buckner, and Leonard can all return healthy in 2023 and play to their standard, the Colts should be much better than they were last season.