Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard may per chance likely gain been snubbed by Expert Bowl voters, but he has better than made up for the oversight.
Leonard became as soon as named the league’s 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year at Saturday night time’s NFL Honors.
For the rationale that Expert Bowl balloting, which inexplicably left off Leonard, the Colts rookie went on to garner other high-profile awards, along side being a predominant-team All-Expert alternative by The Connected Press and being named Defensive Rookie of the Year by the PFWA. Saturday’s award successfully caps off Leonard’s monster rookie campaign.
The 6-foot-2, 234-pound Leonard, whom the Colts selected within the 2nd round out of South Carolina Enlighten, without delay became a pressure on an improved Indianapolis defensive unit.
Leonard led the league in total tackles (163) and solo tackles (111), and his seven sacks ranked 2nd within the league among beginners.
Showing a knack to always be all around the football, Leonard totaled an excellent seven games with 10 or more tackles, a feat that tied for the NFL lead. He successfully equipped his presence as a tackling machine in Week 2 when Leonard recorded 19 tackles (15 solo) against the Washington Redskins.
The NFL known Leonard because the Defensive Rookie of the Month for September, and he became as soon as named the AFC Defensive Participant of the Week for his production in Week 2 and Week 17.
As well to to his tackles and sacks, Leonard completed his rookie season with 12 tackles for a loss, eight quarterback hits, two interceptions, eight passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
With Leonard leading the value, the Colts completed the 2018 atypical season ranked eighth against the flee, a huge uptick from the 26th location in 2017.
Leonard’s playmaking abilities weren’t confined to the atypical season, and he assign them on paunchy point to in two postseason games, recording double-digit tackles in matchups against the Houston Texans and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.
Given his understand-popping production, it be doubtlessly actual to boom Expert Bowl voters will now now not neglect about Leonard at some stage within the upcoming 2019 season, in particular if he comes shut to repeating the output when it comes time to solid ballots.
Nonetheless even though the voters shatter, Leonard will clearly gain other opportunities to gain other recognition, remarkable like he’s completed within the previous month.