Shaquille Leonard on Sunday was recognized as not only one of the best defensive players in the NFL, but as one of the best players in the NFL. Period.
The Colts linebacker – who became the first player in NFL history to force eight fumbles and have four interceptions in a single season when he hit those marks in 2021 – was voted the 18th-best player in the league by his peers on NFL Network's Top 100 Player of 2022.
Leonard is the highest-ranked Colts defensive player on NFL Network's annual Top 100 Players since defensive end Dwight Freeney checked in at No. 15 in 2011. Defensive end Robert Mathis also ranked No. 19 in 2014.
Leonard earned his top-20 spot with another spectacular season in 2021, which also earned him first-team AP All-Pro honors for the third time in four years in the NFL. In addition to those four interceptions and league-leading eight forced fumbles, Leonard notched 122 tackles, four pass break-ups and four tackles for a loss.
Later tonight, we'll learn where Colts running back Jonathan Taylor ranks on NFL Network's Top 100 Player for 2022; Leonard and Taylor are joined by Colts teammates Kenny Moore II (No. 82), DeForest Buckner (No. 66) and Quenton Nelson (No. 28) on this year's list.