Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was not selected to the Pro Bowl and the response to that was a combination of laughter and commentary about how making the All-Pro team is a better gauge of a player’s standing in the league.
The All-Pro team was announced on Friday and Leonard was one of three linebackers voted to the first team. The second-round pick was joined on the team by left guard Quenton Nelson, who was picked a round ahead of Leonard earlier this year.
It is the first time since 1965 that rookie teammates have both been selected to the All-Pro first team. The last two to do so were Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, so Leonard and Nelson are in some pretty good company.
“In both cases they bring a lot of juice into the meeting room, into the weight room. They have infectious leadership qualities,” first-year coach Frank Reich said, via the Associated Press. “Their love for the game, their love to compete at the highest level I just think is very infectious and you love their confidence to be able to just let that loose.”
The selections of Leonard and Nelson to the All-Pro team likely bodes well for General Manager Chris Ballard’s chances of adding the NFL’s executive of the year award to the PFT version he received this week.