Darius Leonard outperformed all outdoors expectations as a rookie, nonetheless he serene needs more in 365 days 2.
The Colts’ 2018 2d-spherical purchase from South Carolina Issue, Leonard led the league in tackles (163) and won NFL Defensive Rookie of the 365 days. He change into once one of four beginners named to the important-crew All-Skilled, nonetheless change into once the absolute most sensible defender.
As for 2019, Leonard excepts to lead clear of any sophomore streak.
“I desire 200 tackles. I desire 10 sacks. I desire to be NFL Defensive Player of the 365 days,” Leonard acknowledged on NFL Community on Tuesday. “I desire to be All-Skilled, Immense Bowl champion, Immense Bowl MVP. Applicable all the issues with my title at the tip of the charts.”
No longer too long ago, J.J. Watt (2012) and Luke Kuechly (2013) won Defensive Player of the 365 days in their 2d season. Leonard no longer absolute most sensible hopes to, nonetheless expects to affix these two. For him, motivation comes from these that doubted him after the Colts picked him 36th total.
“Closing yr, I change into once called the worst draft purchase by Bleacher Boom,” Leonard acknowledged. “I screenshotted it and daily I looked at it and it form of gave me the pressure to repeat that I wasn’t the worst draft purchase and I could per chance per chance maybe play at the next stage.
“I serene have that chip on my shoulder. I wasn’t MVP. I wasn’t at the tip of the charts. I wasn’t a Skilled Bowler. I wasn’t a Immense Bowl champion. So, that’s serene aims that I desire to construct. And till I construct them aims, I am gonna serene have that chip on my shoulder to outplay every person and be the tip competitor that I could per chance per chance maybe be.”
Leonard clearly proved his doubters shocking. As a rookie, he showed he might per chance per chance maybe be an elite participant within the NFL. Now, or no longer it is crew success that can bring him to the next stage.
The Colts’ turnaround closing season change into once largely credited to a wholesome Andrew Success, nonetheless Indianapolis would no longer carry out the postseason without Leonard and that protection. The Colts had the 11th ranked protection in 2018 after ending thirtieth in 2017.
So while or no longer it is unrealistic to demand Leonard to have 200 tackles, 10 sacks, Defensive Player of the 365 days, All-Skilled, Immense Bowl champion and Immense Bowl MVP — did you acquire all that? — in a single season, he’s going to proceed to repeat his doubters shocking.