Too Tall Floyd?
With the 2016 NFL Draft days away, there are still many stories to tell. One of those is about former Bulldog pass rusher, Leonard Floyd. Simply put, Floyd isn’t just your typical defender. One profound feather in his cap is that he led Georgia in sacks for the past three seasons. To get a better idea of what skills and attributes this young man could bring to the next level, I reviewed his 2015 games against Vanderbilt, Alabama and Auburn along with a 2014 game against Clemson and his 2013 game versus Vanderbilt. This is what I saw:
OLB – Leonard Floyd, Georgia 6′ 6″ 244 lbs.
His height, which may be one of his biggest assets (seeing plays develop), is also one of his weaknesses. Because the Floyd is so long and lean, he lets run blockers into his body far too often and seems to find himself caught up in the wash of the line of scrimmage. Floyd doesn’t sink his hips and use leverage, which makes it hard for him to shed linemen sent to get in his way. At his height, the backer needs to add 10-15lbs. of muscle to increase his strength/power, so he can make tackles at the point of attack, instead of dragging the ball carrier down from behind a few yards up field. In fact, Alabama running back Derrick Henry trucked over him, when he tried to meet him in the hole. Floyd also needs to become a better student of the game, as he isn’t very instinctive in a two-point stance. Although, the former Bulldog lined-up as a defensive end/outside backer hybrid in college, he does not have the physicality to anchor this position against the run at the NFL level.
The defender has a quick first step across the line of scrimmage and uses his relentless motor to chase down the pigskin wherever it may roam. His explosion was on display during the Combine, where he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, jumped 39.5″ vertically and 12.7″ in the broad jump. Those were all the best performances for an outside linebacker this year. Additionally, Floyd rushes the passer with ease using his long arms to gain leverage and either spins, chops, rips or bends around, showing good flexibility. He varies his point of attack by moving from the outside to the inside with good foot speed and agility. The former Bulldog can also drop back into coverage quickly and was impressive enough to line up and hold his own against slot receivers.
The former Bulldog might start his career as a role player in nickel and dime packages, due to his aptitude against the pass. He needs to get stronger at the point of attack to be more effective against the run. Despite the holes in his game, Floyd can make an impact this season and beyond. I consider him a top ten rookie defender, so don’t wait too long to draft him.
Thanks for reading. You can find me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.