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Darius Leonard has taken a Colts title that once belonged to Ty Hilton.


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Darius Leonard has taken a Colts title that once belonged to TY Hilton

by Jaleel Grandberry

 

The Indianapolis Colts are fortunate to have Darius Leonard and experts now believe he holds a title that was once held by TY Hilton.

One of the leaders, and overall best players, for the Indianapolis Colts, is Darius Leonard. The linebacker is set to enter his fifth season and has already established himself as one of the best defenders in the NFL.

Since entering the NFL as a rookie, Darius Leonard has had an indelible impact on the Colts. In his first season, Leonard led the league in tackles and was named First-Team All-Pro. Since then, Maniac has turned into a turnover-forcing machine and has been selected to three Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams.

He’s an absolute gem for Indianapolis and they are lucky to have him secured for many more years. However, this is a fate that not many saw coming. When Leonard was selected in the second round, 36th overall, of the 2018 Draft, many ridiculed Indy for the pick. He was even considered one of the worst picks of the Draft.

Now, that tune has changed. In a recent piece by Michael Renner for PFF, Leonard is named the best value draft pick for the Colts since 2006. Renner writes, “This was T.Y. Hilton last year, but after Leonard’s fourth straight impressive season to start his career, he gets the nod.”

Darius Leonard named best value draft pick for Colts

TY Hilton was selected in the third round of the 2012 Draft, 92nd overall, and he developed into something that not many expected. Hilton was one of the NFL’s best receivers the last decade and established himself as the third-best wideout in franchise history.

There’s a chance that Hilton can return to the team and contribute to history but that remains to be seen. However, Hilton has passed the “best value draft pick” baton to Darius Leonard.

Leonard is the heartbeat of the Colts and leads the team in every way possible. Whether it’s with his yelling, dancing, or punchouts of the football, Leonard energizes Indianapolis and helps them win games. The rest of the league now sees in Leonard what the Colts saw when they drafted an undersized linebacker out of South Carolina State in the second round of the Draft.

PFF IND Colts

Linebackers with the lowest missed tackle rates since 2018

De’Vondre Campbell: 5%

Bobby Wagner: 5%

Darius Leonard: 6%

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