Colts' Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard crack Pro Football Writers' All-AFC Team

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The accolades keep piling up for the Colts' best players.

Running back Jonathan Taylor, guard Quenton Nelson and linebacker Darius Leonard were all named to this year's All-AFC Team by the Pro Football Writers of America Association.

Taylor was the lone selection on the group's All-NFL Team. He joined Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb as the only running backs to make the cut.

Nelson and Leonard both made the All-AFC team. It's Nelson's third consecutive selection and Leonard's second.

Defensive end Kwity Paye made the PFWA's All-Rookie Team.

RELATED: After historic season, Jonathan Taylor's game-worn jersey is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

The accolades continue to suggest that the Colts had one of the NFL's most talented teams despite missing the playoffs at 9-8. Taylor and Leonard also made the Associated Press All-Pro First Team, and Taylor, Leonard and Nelson were three of the Colts' league-high seven Pro Bowl selections.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard turned in arguably his best season yet when he forced 15 turnovers, just two off the all-time record for an NFL player.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard turned in arguably his best season yet when he forced 15 turnovers, just two off the all-time record for an NFL player.

Taylor made selections like this easy by rushing for 1,811 yards, or more than 500 more than any other player. That's the largest margin for a league rushing champion since 2009.

In just his second year in the league, Taylor also led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns and with 2,171 scrimmage yards. His 5.5 yards per carry were also the best among all running backs with at least 100 carries.

MORE: Insider: How do Colts maximize Jonathan Taylor's impact without overworking him?

His offensive line had something to do with that production, and Nelson has established a dominant level of play ever since the Colts made him the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft. This year was perhaps his most impressive yet, though, as he reached All-Pro status despite missing four games and while fighting through much of the season with an ankle issue.

Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Taylor and Quenton Nelson have combined to create one of the NFL's most lethal running games, as Taylor outran every other NFL player by more than 500 yards in 2021.
Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Taylor and Quenton Nelson have combined to create one of the NFL's most lethal running games, as Taylor outran every other NFL player by more than 500 yards in 2021.

Leonard has also become one of the best players annually at his position, and this was arguably his strongest season yet. He finished with 15 turnovers -- eight forced fumbles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries -- which were only two off the all-time single-season record.

Paye had a solid rookie season by the numbers that float below the surface. The first-round pick out of Michigan finished with just four sacks, but he had 38 pressures, good for 37th among all edge defenders.

All 26 or younger, these four players help form the core of the Colts roster as they head into an offseason looking for what they can add to maximize those abilities, such as a passing game and more pass rush.

Contact Indianapolis Colts insider Nate Atkins at natkins@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts' Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard named All-AFC

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting