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CR91

Nelson vs Leonard

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Let me get one thing out of the way first by saying their impact on the team has been absolutely incredible, but whos impact was felt more? IMO, its Leonard. We have not had a bonefide star on our defense in the Luck era since mathis past his prime. Leonard single-handily (no offense to the other guys on defense or eberfuss)  made us a legit top 10 defense. Now you can say the same thing about Nelson of course, but we have had success on offense even when the line was in shambles. Never have we had the type of defensive season like the one we had this year where we can actually rely on them to take over a game if the offense isn't clicking. Never have we had every single back we've faced this season to be held under 100 yards. Guys like Zeke, Barkely, Henry, Peterson, Miller, Gore, Fournette, Mixon. Leonard's impact will make this defense something to watch for a long time.

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3 minutes ago, CR91 said:

IMO, its Leonard.

 

I'm gonna have to agree with you.  But it's very close.  Leonard by a hair.

 

Both have been the catalyst for success on their respective side of the ball.

 

We expected the offense to be good, but nobody expected this kind of turnaround on defense.

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1 minute ago, MFT5 said:

why the need. we have both. 

 

fun argument 

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The 2018 draft class was loaded, but I'm confident in saying we got two top ten players from it in Nelson and Leonard. Having said that, Leonard has a bit more value. Nelson is probably our best O-Lineman now, and he's incredible, but Ballard could probably replace 75-80% of his production with the right draft pick with little issue. Leonard is irreplaceable. His production on the field is uncanny. Whether it's his elite tackling, his playmaking skills, or his ability to always be near the ball, no one can take his role on this team or from FA or the draft. There's no replacing Leonard, or getting anywhere close to it.

 

Two great players in Nelson and Leonard though. There's a scenario where they could both be HOFers.

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I'm more impressed with Ballard picking Leonard, but Nelson is leading the protection of the franchise. Is Luck playing all 16 games for the 1st time in 4 years without Nelson? Who knows? Without Nelson, we may be without Luck, and without Luck there's no wins, and with no wins there's no hope. 

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Idk man,

 

Nelson's pankcakes, and destroying the wills of opposing players to live is absolutely amazing to watch. Plus he's made the entire Offensive Line better..... 

 

...but Leonard has made the Defense better too as well. 

 

Just give them each the OPOY and DPOY. They are both arguably the rookies of the year on each side of the ball. 

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This is a hard question, IMO.

 

We went from being the most sacked team in the NFL to the least sacked team in the NFL in one season, which is pretty incredible (and absolutely necessary with Luck coming back from injury).  We had multiple games with 100+ yards rushing (I could be wrong, but I think in Luck's first 4 years he had that happen less than this entire year).  While there were multiple games that Luck was throwing the ball around 50 times (IMO, too much), we seem to finally be able to protect him and at least pose some sort of threat as a running team .... something which our franchise QB hasn't had until now.  Something (listen to Reich's presser yesterday) which becomes even more important on the road in the post-season.

 

I think Slauson and Glowinski have played major roles as vets coming into Indy, but Big Q has definitely helped bring a meanness and toughness to this OL that I cannot remember in Indy since I've been following them (1994).  You can also tell in many games that as the game goes on there are defenders shying away from Big Q (see Dallas for example, LVE wanted nothing to do with Big Q in the 4th quarter).  Big Q also didn't miss a snap all season and I love the fact he's the first one down the field on many plays picking his teammates off the ground.  From the recent Indy Star article about the players only meeting after our 1-5 start, it sounds like Big Q was the first rookie to really step up and light a fire under this team... he definitely has some great leadership qualities.

 

On D, we have finally been able to stop the run.  A huge part of this is The Maniac (plus Eberflus and the best DL play we've had in the Luck era).  The Maniac seems to be the leader (at least vocally) of this D.  Although not a rush LB, he still had 7 sacks.  He is all over the field and he is also creating turnovers.  He's come up with multiple clutch plays (his pass break-up to seal the Dallas game, his INT to seal the TEN game, for example) and he put on one of the best single-season performances by a LB in the history of the NFL (in 15 games, mind you -- only player since sacks were a stat to have 160+ tackles and 7 sacks and 2 INTs, not to mention his 4 FF and 2 recoveries).

 

I don't know if I feel comfortable voting on either one of these guys, but I think if I had to, I'd go with Big Q.  Andrew Luck is still the most important player on this team, and it seems like we've finally got the ability to keep him upright and give him some time and a running game to alleviate some of the pressure on his shoulders week in and week out (some of this is Reich/Sorianno getting the ball out of Luck's hand quicker, but a lot is on the OL and IMO, Big Q is the anchor of the OL).

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Here's the thing about these two.

 

They are what this franchise desparately needed on both sides of the ball. We needed Nelson who could come in and not only dominate on the field but change the tude of the offensive line to follow suit. 

 

We needed Leonard, as we have needed a Leonard for some time, on defense making plays and sure tackles. We needed a maniac on defense to change the tude of the entire defensive unit. 

 

They've both impacted this team in ways we can never see. It's only the very beginning for these guys. I CANNOT wait to watch them take this league by storm for the next decade. 

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I know one thing is that Nelson has made the whole offensive line nastier causing the whole line to improve greatly.

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Ya Leonard made a bigger impact. He plays in a more game changing position and can do more by himself. It’s not a knock on Nelson, but he’s only 1/5 of the OL and depends on the other 4 guys every play. 18/18 sacks given up this year happened when either Castanzo or Kelly were out. 

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Spitting hairs here but my nod goes to Nelson as he not only has impacted the O with his attitude but has changed the attitude of the entire OL. By being able to control the LOS and run the ball it has helped greatly in controlling the time of possession and has keep the D fresher. That being said we have them both and am grateful to CB for getting them.

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I like them both, but never in my years as a Colts fan (since the Manning days) have I been EXCITED to watch the O-Line.  I look forward to it every week.  So my vote goes to Nelson, though I love them both!

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It really is impossible to pick one over the other which is a testament to how amazing this draft class has been.  Two high character culture changers on both sides of the ball in the same draft...

 

They say you build your team from the inside out.  The last 2 drafts we have a stud Guard, stud Will Linebacker, and a stud Free Safety.  Keep up the great work CB.  You've got my complete trust.

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You think line is noticeably different with Kelly out? Take out Nelson. Hands down Nelson's I past is more felt across the board. That is no knock on Leanord either. But Nelson is arguably THE best guard in the NFL as a rookie. 

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It's Leonard for me to. Nelson has basically given us everything you could ask given his draft spot however Leonard has given us the production of a 2nd top 10 pick. He's basically moved the rebuild forward a year all by himself.

 

Nelson has changed the identity of the offensive line but Leonard  had changed the identity of the whole defense and given us the first bona fide difference maker on that side of the ball since Freeney and Sanders.

 

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I think both players were desperately needed by the Colts and were drafted very timely.  If I had to pick which one that I think made the greatest impact, it has to be Nelson.  You can tell that the other O-Lineman play harder because they have to watch film of Nelson each week and are working hard to keep up.   The protection the group has provided has allowed Luck to come back fully and transformed our offense.  It is allowing us to become a power running team at the right time.  I give all the credit to Nelson for the transformation of the OLine.

 

Leonard is a dynamic playmaker on defense, but we have seen WLB get big numbers in the Tampa 2 before.  That is not taking away from Leonard, who I think is a special defender, but he is a playmaker doing his job, Nelson I feel, transformed the worst OL in the league and reenabled our offense.  For that, I feel Nelson was the most impactful rookie/player, since drafting Luck and TY.

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Let me split it up here.

 

Bigger impact - Leonard.  He has been huge in making the defense decent.  Offense was already good with Luck. 

 

More important impact: Nelson.  - Long term the franchise depends on the health of Luck.  And Nelson is the biggest thing this franchise has done to protect Luck's health.  He not only pass protects well but he run blocks well which means we can run the ball more and thus put Luck at even less of an exposure to hits.  

 

Will also add that Reich's offensive system has Luck getting the ball out quicker which helps and Luck himself has surrendered himself and gone out of bounds and avoided taking shots.  

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1 hour ago, CR91 said:

 

fun argument 

im gonna put it this way, the impact made by both is sooooooo equal, there is no argument. 

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I cannot pick a favorite child.

I love them both equally.

Well, it can change from day to day, but still....

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From an "on the field" perspective i would say Leonard. From an "off the field" perspective i would say Nelson.

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1 hour ago, indyagent17 said:

I know one thing is that Nelson has made the whole offensive line nastier causing the whole line to improve greatly.

Yup. The Nelson Nasty is a highly contagious virus, and it seems to have spread all along the line. There are now lots of apocryphal stories floating around about the Colts O-linemen comparing each other's pancakes and de-cleaters, where last year they were just doing all they could to stay alive out there. The funny thing is that Nelson seems like that nice kid next door (well, maybe a bit bigger) when he's off the field, but I'd hate to see that Number 56 Express coming at me through my facemask. 

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Odd and pointless question.

 

but to say Leonard single handily made the colts a top 10 defense is absurd.

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1 hour ago, lollygagger8 said:

Idk man,

 

Nelson's pankcakes, and destroying the wills of opposing players to live is absolutely amazing to watch. Plus he's made the entire Offensive Line better..... 

 

...but Leonard has made the Defense better too as well. 

 

Just give them each the OPOY and DPOY. They are both arguably the rookies of the year on each side of the ball. 

Agreed! Both of them have changed the equation on their respective sides of the ball, and both deserve ROY awards (along with Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors).  With Smith, Turay, Lewis, and Hines, this might just be the best draft in Colts' history. 

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I’m going with Nelson. All of your reasons have merit.  Having Nelson has made our defense better.  He allows the offense to have long sustainable drives and wears out the opponents defense.  This then allows our defense to get rest so they are fresher at the end of the game.

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2 hours ago, TheNextGM said:

I'll be devils advocate and disagree..

 

I think Nelson has had a bigger impact on this team than ANY other player, Leonard included.

 

He's changed the attitude. No longer a soft team, our line is a beast and Nelson is the head of the beast.

Plus, that new attitude line protects the franchise player. I wanted Nelson at three, happy he was there at 6.

Leonard is a stud and probably the steal of the draft despite being drafted in the 2nd. But NELSON has completely changed this team.

I'm in total agreement.   Giving Luck time and reducing his sacks and hits has done allot for this team.   Also the impact Nelson has on the running game.  His attitude is contagious.  

Leonard is a very close second.

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Between the two and this is not a knock on the other but I would have to pick Nelson.  Leonard is a beast but the defense can be attributed to others players as well like Autry and Hunt to name a few.  Nelson on the other hand, as others pointed on here, he brings the nastiness to the offense and that trickled to the rest of the O-line.  Without that interior line, I don't think our running game wouldn't as good.

 

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Imagine if you can get just one guy like that EVERY draft.  A guy who is not only a stud, but dramatically makes those around him better.

  Our whole draft was exceptional this year, but these two guys have rare traits.  The type of traits that end in Canton.

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 I started a similar poll/thread a few months ago because it's a tough

question to answer if we could only start our team with only one

and who to keep? We have both so this thread is just for entertainment 

purposes.

 

To this day it's a difficult question but I would have to go with 

QHOP, because football starts in the trenches. EVERYBODY depends

on the big uglies, from the QB, RB, receivers or the defensive secondary to do their job and keep every one else relatively clean and ease their

workload.,

 

Everyone looks good when the lines are controlled and that isn't 

taking anything away from Leonard at all. The guy is amazing at

LB.

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1 hour ago, buccolts said:

I cannot pick a favorite child.

I love them both equally.

Well, it can change from day to day, but still....

 

so good. 

 

when we're on defense i favor leonard over nelson, when we are on offense i favor nelson over leonard.

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2 hours ago, csmopar said:

im gonna put it this way, the impact made by both is sooooooo equal, there is no argument. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, CR91 said:

Let me get one thing out of the way first by saying their impact on the team has been absolutely incredible, but whos impact was felt more? IMO, its Leonard. We have not had a bonefide star on our defense in the Luck era since mathis past his prime. Leonard single-handily (no offense to the other guys on defense or eberfuss)  made us a legit top 10 defense. Now you can say the same thing about Nelson of course, but we have had success on offense even when the line was in shambles. Never have we had the type of defensive season like the one we had this year where we can actually rely on them to take over a game if the offense isn't clicking. Never have we had every single back we've faced this season to be held under 100 yards. Guys like Zeke, Barkely, Henry, Peterson, Miller, Gore, Fournette, Mixon. Leonard's impact will make this defense something to watch for a long time.

 

I dont like these kinds of threads because both players are on the same team, playing opposite sides of the ball. You would want both of your team's players to be "cant do without" players. If it were who's better "Harold Landry" or "Leonard" then we could go somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Rackeen305 said:

 

I dont like these kinds of threads because both players are on the same team, playing opposite sides of the ball. You would want both of your team's players to be "cant do without" players. If it were who's better "Harold Landry" or "Leonard" then we could go somewhere.

 

That is not a discussion. Everyone will say Leonard is better.  

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5 hours ago, Luck 4 president said:

Ya Leonard made a bigger impact. He plays in a more game changing position and can do more by himself. It’s not a knock on Nelson, but he’s only 1/5 of the OL and depends on the other 4 guys every play. 18/18 sacks given up this year happened when either Castanzo or Kelly were out. 

 So you pick Leonard because Nelson can't play his position, Castanzo or Kelly's at the same time?

Yeah, makes sense.

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I think the bigger question is will we get two more players that will have their type of impact in the next draft.

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Nelson is a huge part in the production and protection of our most important player.

 

Wouldn’t trade him for anything. 

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Sad y'all leaving Smith out of this too. Dude's been studtastic at RT. His impact there is almost as noticeable (without Pancakes) as Nelson. 

 

Dude was frigging drafted to play guard. He's developed into a consistent RT with tremendous athleticism, and we never hear his name in a game. I can see him being a RT for a while to come

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12 minutes ago, TheMarine said:

Sad y'all leaving Smith out of this too. Dude's been studtastic at RT. His impact there is almost as noticeable (without Pancakes) as Nelson. 

 

Dude was frigging drafted to play guard. He's developed into a consistent RT with tremendous athleticism, and we never hear his name in a game. I can see him being a RT for a while to come

It is sad that stuff like this has to become a competition for the members to argue about under the disguised of a debate.

To some it can't be as simple as both are great and one's not better than the other.

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