Darius Leonard was named as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after the Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker led the league with 163 tackles. Leonard transformed the Colts’ defense from one of the worst in the league in 2017 to a Top 10 defense last season. The 23-year old from South Carolina State also had two interceptions, four forced fumbles, eight passes defended and seven sacks during his rookie season.

Leonard was tackling at a record pace last season. The NFL rookie record for tackles is 174, set by Patrick Willis for the San Francisco 49ers in 2007. Leonard didn’t break that record but considering he missed one game, he could have been closer to that record. Remember that Leonard was at 135 tackles through12 games and that was a better pace than Willis.

His ability to handle a lot of things while being able to execute them at a high percentage rate is one attribute that makes him special. If he continues to get the looks, Leonard’s physicality and speed make him a real NFL betting favorite to lead the league again in tackles and assists this season.

Here are the odds from Mybookie.ag to lead the NFL in Tackles and Assists during the 2019-20 regular season:

Player Odds
Darius Leonard +500
Leighton Vander Esch +600
Luke Kuechly +1000
Blake Martinez +1000
Bobby Wagner +1200
Roquan Smith +1200
Cory Littleton +1400
Tremaine Edmunds +1600
Fred Warner +1600
Joe Schobert +1600
Myles Jack +1800
Kwon Alexander +2000
CJ Mosley +2000
Zach Brown +2500
Devin White +2000
Deion Jones +2500
Mason Foster +2500
Jordan Hicks +2500
Anthony Hitchens +2500

Football Who are the Favorites?

Darius Leonard was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after leading the league in tackles and assists with 163. The 24-year old from the Indianapolis Colts is targeting 200 tackles this season and wants to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year this season. He’s got the physical and technical skills to do both so keep your fingers crossed.

Leighton Vander Esch was third in the league last season with 143 combined tackles and assists. The Dallas Cowboys’ 23-year old linebacker was second-team All-Pro and a Pro-Bowl selection last season.

Luke Kuechly ranked 8th in this department last season with a combined total of 130. The Carolina Panthers linebacker was the 9th overall pick in 2012. Kuechly is a six-time Pro Bowler a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection. The NFL’s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year’s 2018 totals were his best since 2014 before injuries limited him in the next two seasons.

Blake Martinez was next to Darius Leonard in tackles and assists totals last season with 144. The 25-year old linebacker from the Green Bay Packers has registered a total of 144 tackles and assists in each of his last two NFL seasons.

Football Who Will Lead the NFL in Tackles and Assists Next Season?

Darius Leonard is well-justified as the betting favorite here. But remember that only Jessie Tuggle, Clay Matthews Sr. and Kyle Clifton have led the NFL in this statistical category in back to back seasons. That’s a lot of history going against Leonard. Also, Leonard led this department last year as a rookie so you can’t count out the freshmen who will be playing in the NFL this coming season.

So if the odds are against Leonard, who do we bet on? Luke Kuechly led the NFL in tackles and assists totals twice but the last time that happened was in 2014. My bet here is  Dallas LB Leighton Vander Esch who only started 11 games and still had 143 combined tackles and assists. With a full season ahead as a starter for the Cowboys, I think he leads the NFL in this statistical department next season. Prediction:  Leighton Vander Esch

Place Your Bet Here

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