Darius Leonard outperformed all outside expectations as a rookie, but he still wants more in Year 2.
The Colts' 2018 second-round pick from South Carolina State, Leonard led the league in tackles (163) and won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was one of four rookies named to the first-team All-Pro, but was the only defender.
As for 2019, Leonard excepts to avoid any sophomore slump.
"Last year, I was called the worst draft pick by Bleacher Report," Leonard said. "I screenshotted it and every day I looked at it and it kind of gave me the drive to prove that I wasn't the worst draft pick and I could play at the next level.
"I still have that chip on my shoulder. I wasn't MVP. I wasn't at the top of the charts. I wasn't a Pro Bowler. I wasn't a Super Bowl champion. So, that's still goals that I want to achieve. And until I achieve them goals, I'm gonna still have that chip on my shoulder to outplay everybody and be the top competitor that I can be."
Leonard clearly proved his doubters wrong. As a rookie, he showed he can be an elite player in the NFL. Now, it's team success that will bring him to the next level.