Darius Leonard Reacts to Madden 23 Rating on Twitter

Darius Leonard

Getty Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Darius Leonard reacted to his latest Madden rating on Twitter.

Inside linebacker Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts has laughed when faced with what he considers disrespect this offseason. He did that again on July 19 following the release of his player rating in Madden 2023.

In the newest edition of the popular video game, Leonard received a player rating of 90 out of 99, which ranked him fifth among inside linebackers. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner was the highest-rated player at the position with a 94 rating.

Leonard didn’t need any words to express his displeasure with four linebackers earning a higher player rating in the newest Madden video game.

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Reason for a Gripe

With Leonard earning his second straight first-team All-Pro bid in 2021, it’s hard not to understand Leonard’s frustration. He led the NFL with 8 forced fumbles last season. Leonard also recorded 122 combined tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits, 8 pass defenses and 4 interceptions.

CBS Sports released a tweet in support of Leonard, stating that the Colts linebacker is the only player since he debuted in 2018 with more than 10 sacks and 10 interceptions.

During his four-year career, Leonard has made first-team All-Pro three times and won the 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. The one season Leonard didn’t make first-team All Pro in 2019, he made second-team All Pro.

None of the linebackers with a better rating than Leonard made first-team All Pro last year.

Leonard Loves the Laughing Emoji

The Colts linebacker has a habit of using the laughing emoji on Twitter.

On May 21, Leonard released a tweet with nearly twice as many laughing emojis in response to Pro Football Focus not including him on a list of the top three linebackers according to the website’s player grades over the last two seasons.

Like Madden, PFF ranked Warner the top inside linebacker. Also like Madden, Davis and Wagner were ahead of Leonard too.

PFF does not make player grades for more than one season at a time readily available on its website. But in 2021, Leonard received the fourth-best grade for linebackers from PFF. The year prior, PFF ranked Leonard as the eighth-best linebacker.

While Leonard is not regarded as a top three inside linebacker by these experts outside the league, NFL insiders do hold him in that regard. Actually, when staff writer Jeremy Fowler of ESPN compiled opinions from NFL executives, coaches, scouts and players to put together a list of the top 10 players at every position, based on his research, Fowler ranked Leonard the No. 1 inside linebacker in the league.

“He can flip the game at any moment,” a high-ranking AFC executive told Fowler. “That worries you more as an opponent than a traditional linebacker because he gets his hands on the ball all of the time.”

For the second straight offseason, Leonard underwent surgery. The Colts linebacker had back surgery on June 7 that head coach Frank Reich initially said would cause Leonard to miss “some training camp.”

A week later, though, staff writer Zak Keefer of The Athletic reported Leonard could return at the beginning or close to the start of training camp.

Either way, Leonard should be back within plenty of time to be ready to begin the regular season. Then, he’ll likely be aiming to prove his 90 Madden rating is not nearly high enough.

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