Bears select Leonard Floyd in the first round of the NFL Draft
The Chicago Bears have officially selected Leonard Floyd with the number 8 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Bears decided to trade up to the number nine overall spot in the draft, giving their first round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as a fourth round pick (106th overall).
Floyd is an outside linebacker that will be primarily used as a edge rusher in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense in Chicago. According to Pro Football Focus, Floyd graded as the number two edge rusher prospect:
Floyd was the No. 2 edge defender prospect in pass-rush productivity in 2015. He also graded positively in coverage and versus the run.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 29, 2016
The 23-year-old Floyd stands at 6-foot-6 and has a unique combo of length and athleticism that he showed off at the University of Georgia. As many speculated that the Bears could go offense in the first round with Ezekiel Elliott, Ronnie Stanley or even Laremy Tunsil, they go with the decision to improve their defense.
Here’s what NFL.com has on his strengths:
Long limbs and twitch to spring into a tackle from a mile away. If unblocked, will chase down line of scrimmage from backside and foil run plans. Elusive in open space dodging blockers and sifting through traffic in pursuit of the ball. Has the traits to be highly effective in man coverage. As an edge rusher, able to shoot out of the starting blocks and cover substantial ground with long second and third strides. Not a great bender, but has ankle flexion necessary to lean at 45-degree angle and buzz inside the rush arc. Substantial pass rush potential with a variety of options to the quarterback.
The move now gives the Bears another edge rusher along with Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Sam Acho. Now they add Floyd who showed bursts of being a star while at Georgia:
The only knock on Floyd is if he has to drop in coverage, as his skills in that area could be improved. Floyd also showed struggles of setting the edge on plays at times, making it a big concern.
The Bears moved up in the first round for the first time in 20 years to select Floyd. They will now pick again in the second round on Friday night.