Micah Parsons was one of the best off-ball linebackers in the NFL. Now, he’s one of the best edge rushers in the league. Entering the NFL in 2021, Parsons immediately established himself, becoming the fourth rookie linebacker to make First-Team All-Pro since the merger. The other three were Lawrence Taylor, Patrick Willis, and Shaquille Leonard. Parsons, of course, has respect for all of them, especially his peer that’s still active: Shaquille Leonard.
Like Parsons, Leonard is one of the best defenders, and overall players in all of football. However, a tumultuous 2022 has caused Leonard’s reputation to take a hit. Two back surgeries within a year limited Leonard to just 74 snaps over three games in the 2022 season. With the linebacker sidelined for most of the year, some have forgotten how good he is.
Parsons is making sure to remind them. Recently, the linebacker ratings were released for Madden 24. Leonard received an 86 overall rating, tied for ninth-best among off-ball linebackers. That clearly didn’t sit right with Micah Parsons, because he jumped on Instagram to comment, “There are not 8 linebackers better than Leonard! Idc.”
Micah Parsons thinks Shaquille Leonard is underrated
Game recognize game, right? Parsons is absolutely right, there aren’t eight linebackers better than Shaq Leonard. In fact, a healthy Leonard is arguably the best linebacker in football. But, in fairness to the people doing the ratings for Madden, and any other list that didn’t have Leonard near the top, Leonard is coming off a year where he basically missed the entire season.
His spot on these lists are more reflective of his health than his skills. Now, going into the 2023 season, he’ll have the opportunity to remind everyone just how good he is. Leonard appears to be near a return, and with the Colts returning for training camp on Tuesday, we’ll soon have a better idea about his health status.
If Leonard is healthy and playing throughout the 2023 season, he’ll prove Micah Parsons right, showing that there aren’t eight linebackers better than him.