4. Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers’ new team comes in fourth in this list as they also have a new young defensive duo that has not spent any time on the field together but projects to be a really solid defensive duo for the coming years.
The Indianapolis Colts drafted Darius Leonard in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and he was the one defensive rookie that was better than Derwin James. Leonard won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was an All-Pro, like James, in his first season.
He did take a slight step back in 2019 but was still a Pro Bowler and a great middle linebacker. He is a defensive player that is a joy to watch.
The Colts traded their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers for Buckner and then locked him down for four seasons, so we know that this duo is going to be making noise for quite some time.
Bucker is one of the best defensive tackles in the league and alongside Leonard is going to make it nearly impossible to run the football up the middle of the Colts’ defense. Buckner is also elite in getting to the quarterback as well.
To me, James and Leonard are a wash as they are both elite defensive players who are uber-versatile and I do think that Joey Bosa is slightly more impactful than Buckner.
It is close, but I would give the edge to the LA Chargers. However, that is a bit of a spoiler as to where they rank on this list.