Leonard Floyd First Rounder in 2016 Draft?

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Leonard Floyd First Rounder in 2016 Draft?

Georgia defense - No.6 Natrez Patrick, No.59 Jordan Jenkisn, No.84 Leonard Floyd, No. 24 Dominic Sanders - 2nd half TaxSlayer Bowl 02-JAN-2016 (photo by Greg Poole)
Georgia defense – No.6 Natrez Patrick, No.59 Jordan Jenkins, No.84 Leonard Floyd, No. 24 Dominic Sanders – 2nd half TaxSlayer Bowl 02-JAN-2016 (photo by Greg Poole)

 
 
The only question left for Leonard Floyd as the NFL draft approaches is just how rich he will be when the dust settles.
 
 
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”Walter Football” url=”http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2016lfloyd.php#8ziosJhTKVL6o6me.99″] In 2015, Floyd totaled 74 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks and three passes batted. He put a lot more pressure on the quarterback than the numbers indicate. If you watch a lot of Georgia games, you will see that Floyd’s pressure set up a lot of sacks for his teammates.
 
In some obvious passing situations, Floyd would line up with his hand in the ground. However over the past three seasons, the vast majority of snaps had Floyd as a standup linebacker at the line of scrimmage on the edge.
 
At the combine, Floyd put his striking athleticism on display with a 40 time of 4.60 seconds. That surprised many, but that was the 40 time I projected him to have prior to Indianapolis. However what nobody projected was the weight gain that Floyd displayed. He played in the 230s in college but was 244 pounds at the combine, and that was much heavier than expected. To maintain his excellent speed at the higher weight was huge for Floyd’s draft stock.
 
Strength is the aspect that Floyd needed to add for the NFL. He must get tougher at defending downhill runs coming straight at him, get stronger to shed blocks in the pass rush, and have a stronger lower body to maintain his feet. Teams feel that at 6-foot-6, Floyd has the frame and length to play around 250 pounds after spending some time in a NFL strength and conditioning program.
 
There is a lot to like about Floyd for the next level. Perhaps his trait that stands out as the most rare is his tremendous ability to bend. Even though he has a tall, lanky frame, Floyd’s ability to sink his hips and bend around the corner is ridiculous. When you add that to being extremely fast, it is easy to see why he is a natural pass-rusher. Floyd has a quick first-step and can be a lightning bolt to get upfield. He also has some variety in pass-rushing moves and an excellent feel for getting heat on the quarterback.
 
Away from the game, team sources say that Floyd is a small-town kid. He doesn’t cause problems and loves football. So there aren’t off-the-field-issues to worry about.
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[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”NFL.com” url=”http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/leonard-floyd?id=2555285″] STRENGTHS Unique combination of length and athleticism. Extremely rangy with great chase speed from sideline to sideline. Good change of direction for taller player. 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. Pet move is upfield burst followed by jump­-cut inside tied with inside club. Able to dip and rip around the corner. Dangerous on T/E twists and blitzes underneath. Able to worm his way through the A-­gap as standup blitzer.
WEAKNESSES All thin everything. Gangly frame produces marginal play strength. Built like a wide receiver and needs to live in a team cafeteria and weight room. Not an edge-­setter. Gets long arms into defender effectively, but struggles to gain extension. Loses fight for neutral zone at point of attack. Issues shedding blocks forces him into downfield tackler rather than backfield playmaker. Drag-­down tackler with little pop behind pads as a hitter. Must work to keep pad level lower on inside rush move.
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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.