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Darius Leonard Wins 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award

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  • Darius Leonard Wins 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award

    Colts LB Darius Leonard win rookie honors

    Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was the winner of the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

    Leonard, the second-round pick out of South Carolina State, led the Colts in tackles with a franchise-record 163 -- including 13 in a playoff victory over Houston. The All-Pro selection earned 29 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league, nine in front of Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James.

    Denver Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb got the other vote in balloting announced at NFL Honors. Both James and Chubb was selected in the first 17 picks, while Leonard went 36th.

    A dominant performer at an FCS school, Leonard impressed general manager Chris Ballard when Leonard made 19 tackles against eventual national champion Clemson in 2016. Leonard simply got better in college, and throughout his pro debut. He had seven sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions despite missing one game with a knee injury.

    Leonard is the second Indianapolis player to take the defensive rookie award, joining linebacker Duane Bickett (1985).