2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
Pass rushers are always in high demand. The year doesn’t matter. So somebody like Leonard Floyd of Georgia was bound to get lots of attention ahead of the 2016 NFL draft. What does his scouting report have to say about expectations?
Weight: 232 lbs
A double sport start in high school (football and track). His athletic prowess became apparent early when he played both defensive end and tight end. A Georgia native, it wasn’t too hard for him to decide to go to Georgia where he quickly became one of their standout defenders. For his college career he has 17 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss. Also don’t forget five forced fumbles.
- Plenty of speed and athleticism. Shows it in the way he can drop into coverage, change direction and accelerate but especially going forward as a rusher.
- Explosive first step. Has the ability to cut inside, get small through a gap and apply pressure.
See how Floyd comes off the snap fast, makes it look like he’s going to go outside and then shifts at the last moment to an inside move. He gets thin through the crease, using his hands to casually shed the blocker and then applies pressure on the quarterback. It isn’t a sack but the play causes an overthrow on 4th down and a punt. Almost as good as a sack.
- Good length. Has those long arms that he can use to keep blockers off of him.
- Plenty of bend and flexibility to get underneath blocks around the edge.
- Deceptively strong. Has enough strength to drive a tackle back with a bull rush when he uses proper leverage.
- Decent arsenal of pass rush moves. Can switch up from going outside to inside with little wasted motion.
- Has played inside linebacker and has the athleticism but lacks the necessary bulk.
- Isn’t the most instinctive player. Seems to rely too much on his eyes after the snap rather than what he sees before it. Explains why he’s often a step behind.
This play is a good example of how Floyd lacks the decisiveness needed to attack in the run game. See here how he keeps the blocker off him. Sure enough the running back comes back his way but rather than attack and possibly cause a loss of yardage he lets the play come to him and by the time he reacts the runner is already past him to nearly get the first down.
- Doesn’t attack the line of scrimmage as a run defender. Lets blockers get to him on the second level too much.
- Still hasn’t gotten full control of his hands as a pass rusher. Relies too much on natural skill. Needs more technique work.
Pro Comparison: Barkevious Mingo
Like it was with Mingo back when the Cleveland Browns drafted him out of LSU, Floyd is another supremely athletic pass rusher with tons of upside who flashes a lot but hasn’t been able to put everything together. Mingo hasn’t turned out so well but there have been other cases like him that have. It’s really kind of a high-stakes gamble. A boom-or-bust they call it.
Projection: 1st to 2nd rounds
Based on physical ability, Leonard Floyd is a clear cut 1st rounder. However, his lack of proven production and inconsistency will give pause to some about whether he’s worth that risk. It all comes down to how well he takes coaching. If it’s not an issue, then he can be a great player for a long time.