Indianapolis Colts linebacker, Darius Leonard, is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. A diamond in the rough uncovered by general manager Chris Ballard, Leonard was a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
And, at the time, who knew that South Carolina State University could produce such a talent at the linebacker position?
The 2018 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year would upgrade the Titans’ linebacker corps’ current state.
Believe me, this is not a knock on Jayon Brown or Rashaan Evans — both are talented in their own regard; however, Leonard would be an upgrade tactically and give the Titans a much-needed boost from a pass-rush perspective.
The Titans enjoy running their big-nickel package with frequency, rolling safety Amani Hooker over the top, effectively taking Evans out of the game on third downs.
So, why would the Titans need a different option if Brown is the only inside linebacker on the field half of the time?
WELCOME BACK DARIUS LEONARD!!
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 1, 2020
When head coach Mike Vrabel took the job, he spoke of defensive multiplicity. Having Leonard would offer Vrabel a thumper to stop the run, a solid asset in coverage, and an elite rusher off the edge. Leonard is a chess piece, and the Titans would be lucky to have him.
Per Pro Football Focus, Leonard’s 81.1 overall grade slots him in as the fifth-best linebacker in football. Leonard has accumulated 53 combined tackles (four for loss), two passes defended, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one sack through six games.
For three weeks, Leonard was sidelined with a groin injury he sustained during the Colts’ Week 4 matchup against the Chicago Bears.