Not sure if this has been posted on here yet:
Pretty impressive stat for Walker (3rd year) and Leonard (2nd year) -- they were the first LB Duo in NFL history to each have 120+ tackles, 2.5+ sacks, 6+ TFL, and 1+ interception.
I think with Okerere in this mix (and potentially EJ Speed), we've got a pretty solid LB corps for years to come. Let's just hope these guys stay healthy.
After watching Kuechly's retirement speech, I started to think about Leonard and remembered this article: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2019/10/14/darius-leonard-feared-for-his-nfl-career-after-concussion-symptoms-wouldnt-go-away/3976170002/
It's scary, and I think with more and more info being put out about concussions, we'll see more and more players walking away earlier in their careers (injuries in general - Pat McAfee just had a show on this the other day, said he left his career early in part because he hated Grigson, in part because he didn't think it was worth it to keep playing after having 3 surgeries and 4 years, and in part because he had made enough money and wanted to do explore other things in life aside from kicking a football and studying ST tape every day -- he mentioned Gronk who retired early due to not wanting to inflict any more damage on his body... he could've mentioned others like Luck, etc... or could've pulled up Marshawn Lynch's recent interview where he implored younger players to make sure they're taking care of their bodies, their brains and their bank accounts).
Anyway, just from the quotes in that article, you can tell Maniac is a family man and he even mentioned after the 2nd week of being in concussion protocol he started thinking about his wife and kids and reality of maybe quitting NFL. Let's hope he stays healthy.
I have a hard time putting Kenny Moore up that far. Ballard did say he thinks K-Moore is the best nickel back in the NFL. That said, Kenny Moore is a very good nickel back, but to me, it's still nickel back (which, IMO is the 3rd string CB). He definitely is a good player and it's noticeable when he's not on the field... but I just have a hard time calling him a top 3 player on the entire roster.
My rankings probably go something like this:
1) Big Q (best in NFL at his position, 2 time 1st team all-pro in 2 years),
2) Darius Leonard (top 2-3 at NFL at his position, 2 time all-pro with 1 first team in first 2 years),
3) TY (top 10 at NFL at his position, pro-bowl caliber when healthy, team leader, play maker, but has never been 1st team all pro worthy),
4) Kelly (pro-bowl caliber guy, top 5 in NFL at his position, I can see a potential all-pro in future),
5) Costanzo (pro-bowl caliber guy, under the radar a bit, I know Reich says he's the best LT in the game, but I think he's in the top 5-10 range),
6) Justin Houston (former 1st team all-pro, 4x pro-bowler, put up double digit sacks in a year where he was basically our only pass rush threat on the DL with Turay going on IR early),
7) Marlon Mack (put up 908 yards on the ground in 12 games last year, 1,091 in 14 this year, protects the ball, explosive back, if healthy for a full 16 we should have a 1,300-1,500 yard back next year),
8) Kenny Moore III (very good in the nickel, gets exposed some outside, but a play maker, an energetic guy and a guy who is sorely missed when he's not in the lineup),
9) Anthony Walker (solid week in and week out, racked up >120 tackles, makes few mistakes, IMO his biggest knock is that he is not an elite athlete like Leonard and has to really rely on football instincts -- I think if you paired Leonard's athleticism and play making ability with Walker's instincts you'd have a total freak show of a LBer)
10) Nyheim Hines (several first-team all pro votes as a return man, a dynamic receiving threat out of the backfield or in the slot, solid change-of-pace back... I expect they'll find more ways to utilize him in the offense in 2020).
Braden Smith (made an almost seamless transition from G in college to RT in the NFL (though I still think he's better suited at guard), I think he's right on the cusp of being a pro-bowler and is continuing improvement),
Malik Hooker (this past year seemed to be a down year for him and I'm not sure if it was decline in his ability or due to lack of pass rush and injuries around him on secondary, but he has ball hawking skills and hopefully he gets back to the trajectory he seemed to be on before getting hurt as a rookie... still, does seem like teams avoid throwing at him and I thought he improved as a tackler this past year),
Jack Doyle (former pro-bowl TE, not a flashy guy, but a guy who is reliable every single week -- solid blocker, average receiver - probably above average short yard receiving TE and below average deep threat TE, great teammate)
Hopefuls for the future:
Bobby Okerere (showed a lot of potential as a rookie, improved as the year went on, think we've got a long term starter in this guy),
Parris Campbell (his athleticism is off the charts, he seemed to improve every game he played but suffered four injuries -- if he's healthy, I think this guy has serious game-changing capabilities),
Rock Ya-Sin (started off a little rocky, but improved as the year went on... we knew he was going to be a bit of a project and he got thrown into the fire right away, I believe he'll improve greatly in year 2),
Kemoko Turay (he was really improving in year 2, and looked like our best pass rusher at times last year in the 3+ games he played in... hopefully he bounces back from that injury and continues improving),
Khari Willis (I think he's got a fairly low ceiling, but he showed last year that he's a reliable guy, a tough guy, a good tackler, and I think he showed Geathers that Geathers' days in Indy are numbered),
Ben Banogu (we knew he was a project pick, and he looked lost at times, but he did show me some glimpses of being a very good athlete, I think he's got potential to be very good for us with some more time learning the NFL game).
Other than that, I don't see a whole lot of players on this team who excite me to potentially be top 10 players.
I think he has done a good job of keeping his body healthy. He's a sure tackler and it's not his weight or his body breaking down that scares me... funny that you mention Henry though, because in the article about his concussion above, it's pretty clear he thinks he got the concussion from trying to stuff Henry.
Yea, I we went 1-5 last year in the 6 games TY missed. A few things to be said for that (IMO): 1) TY is a very good player and a leader of this team, (2) with Funchess and Campbell being out most of the year, it clearly showed we have to address WR depth as our WRs were kind of a joke when TY wasn't on the field and even when he was teams were doubling him and we had very little true threats aside from him, (3) Jacoby or whoever our QB is, not only needs more threats, but they've gotta learn how to thrive as a QB without TY or a top-tier WR at their disposal.