Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson Land On Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 Players List

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INDIANAPOLIS — Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson are often mentioned in the same sentence.

The first two picks by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2018 NFL Draft, Leonard and Nelson would go on to not only become some of the top rookies in the league, but they would become arguably the best players at their positions in the NFL.

Their strong play was recognized near the end of the 2018 season, when both Leonard and Nelson were named First-Team All-Pro, becoming the first pair of rookie teammates to earn that honor since Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers (maybe you’ve heard of them?) accomplished that feat with the Chicago Bears back in 1965.

Nelson would go on to also earn a Pro Bowl selection, while Leonard was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, among many other honors for both.

On Monday, we learned of another accolade for these young playmakers.

Pro Football Focus, which has started releasing its “top 1010 players from the 2018 NFL season” list, has began its countdown with Nos. 76-101. On Monday, Leonard and Nelson made the cut in that range for PFF; Leonard came in at No. 76, while Nelson was ranked 86th.

PFF’s top 101 players list, by the way, shouldn’t be confused with the NFL Network’s annual Top 100 Players list, because the latter is supposed to take into account the players’ standing for the upcoming season.

PFF’s top 101 list only takes into account what the players accomplished during the 2018 regular season and postseason.

So, without further ado, here’s what PFF had to write about both Colts players in the 76-101 range in their top 101 players list:

76. Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts

Top 101 appearances: New entry

Leonard may have had impressive tackle totals, but he was also equally impressive as a blitzer, as a run stopper and as a coverage defender. Whichever way you slice it, Leonard ended a mightily productive regular season with 56 total defensive stops next to his name – the third-most among players at the position.”

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86. Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts

Top 101 appearances: New entry

One of the more impressive turnarounds in recent memory, the Colts offensive line went from complete liability to more than an adequate unit, and the play of Quenton Nelson had a lot to do with that. Nelson was a stud in pass protection, leading the team in pass-blocking grade while allowing just 23 pressures on a whopping 730 pass-blocking snaps.”

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Keep it tuned to Colts.com, as the team is sure to have at least one, if not more, players appear in the top 75 of PFF’s list.

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