Colts linebacker Darius Leonard ranked No.37 on the 2021 NFL Network’s Top 100 list
For the third season in a row, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was recognized as one of the NFL’s top players on Sunday.
Leonard was ranked 37th on the NFL Network’s 2021 Top 100 Player List, which is voted on by players. Leonard previously ranked 26th and 50th in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The Colts signed a contract extension with Leonard earlier in training camp, keeping the first-team All-Pro double and the Pro Bowler triple in Indianapolis for the long haul.
“Darius takes the juice to another level. He’s a playmaker to another level,” said head coach Frank Reich. “We think he’s the best in the league at what he does. Thanks to Mr. (Jim) Irsay and Chris Ballard for doing this and for honoring a player who is truly one of the greatest in this league. We are happy to have him on our team. “
Leonard is one of two players since tackles became an official statistic in the 1980s to have 400+ tackles and 10+ sacks in his first three seasons in the NFL; Leonard enters 2021 with 416 tackles and 15 sacks. The 2018 second-round pick also has seven interceptions and 15 stoppages; only one linebacker (Joe Schobert of Cleveland / Jacksonville) has had more interceptions than Leonard in the past three seasons.
“Right off the jump I was called the worst draft pick and (the Colts) believed in me from day one,” said Leonard. “I tried to go out day in and day out and prove that they have someone special. I haven’t done anything yet. I have to keep showing they have someone and keep showing the skeptics that they have someone. ‘they are wrong.”