Bears Draft – Day One Review -Day Two Preview

Bears Draft – Day One Review -Day Two Preview

Day one of the 2016 NFL Draft is done and there are concerns about Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s choice of Leonard Floyd, the 6’6″ 244 pound outside linebacker from the University of Georgia. For every accolade thrown at Pace last night for his pick, there was one question, or complaint, about the choice. Last year, when Pace made his first draft pick as a GM it was greeted more favorably that this year’s choice. Kevin White, the green, but gifted wide receiver, fell to No. 7 and was without question the best player available. White missed his rookie season because of an injury, but that doesn’t negate the jury of his peers who quickly ruled Pace was guilty of nothing when selecting White.

This year, the jury is still deliberating and will for months. Video of Floyd being pushed around and statistics stating lack of production is what’s sparked doubts in the linebacker’s abilities.

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The Bears weren’t taking any scouting advice from people on twitter. Pace told the media that the decision to draft Floyd was easy because every coach and scout agreed he was the man.

At Halas Hall last night, the Bears brass outlined five reasons they targeted Floyd and traded up two spots to secure the selection:

  1. Speed. They Bears were almost embarrassed by the lack of team speed on defense  When you see Floyd run, there’s a track star’s gait to his dash that you don’t expect to see from a man so tall and weighing almost 250 pounds.
  2. Smarts. Josh Lucas, the team’s Director of Player Personnel told Bears.com that Floyd has a high football IQ. Those smarts were evident on the football field with the varied moves Floyd utilized to set up pass blockers.
  3. Versatility. Lucas said, “He’s going to diversify what we have at the outside linebacker position as far as coverages. Should he have rushed more in college? Yes. But his ability to do multiple things for us will be such an advantage for our defense.”
  4. Conditioning. Pace complimented Floyd saying he rarely left the field, “You watch a lot of these college guys and they are getting subbed in-and-out at critical moments of the game and that’s kind of a concern, right? This guy never comes off the field. He’s got great stamina.”
  5. Attitude. Pace compared Floyd to last year’s No. 1 pick, Kevin White, with his charismatic personality. It’s another indication that the days of Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett are over at Halas Hall.

Shayne Marsaw of BearsBarroom.com doesn’t quite understand the kerfuffle about Floyd, ”

“Let’s be upfront and honest with this selection. Floyd isn’t a perfect prospect but he’s by no means a finished product. He has a wiry frame and therefore needs to add mass. That much is obvious by watching ten seconds of tape. But like John Fox said, ‘We can make em bigger, & we can make em stronger. We can’t make em more athletic or faster.’ Floyd played all over the field at UGA and never settled in to one position. He mainly played at inside linebacker. He’ll be making a permanent move to outside linebacker with one thing in mind: See QB, get QB. He didn’t have much production in college. With the Bears he will finally have some legit coaching. Pace made the move up, it’s now up to Fox & Fangio to mold their new pass rusher and unleash him on NFCN QB’s.”

Jose Cotto, who had Floyd at No. 9 on his board, the same spot the Bears drafted him on says this:

This is clearly a very polarizing player. To the doubters I pose this question: Why are edge rushers that can bend far more successful? The answer is because they make themselves a small target and are difficult to touch. Floyd is exactly that, very dificult to get your hands on. He has explosion, agility, hustle, passion, length, active hands (need work), natural pass rusher. Many of the same knocks on him you heard about Anthony Barr. I view this kid as a better player. I believe NFL coaching will make him a monster because he has the fire to match his athleticism. Georgia coaches failed to utilize him correctly. He steps into a good situation here with time to add weight and strength while Willie Young plays out the final year of his contract. The sub-package featuring Floyd, Young, Houston, and McPhee that Vic Fangio can trot out there on third and long is down right scary. He also brings the athleticism to carry slot receivers, tight ends, or running backs in coverage which is being overlook.

Those that marvel at Floyd’s athleticism point to plays like the following:

Floyd arrives in Chicago today and one of the first people he’ll meet at Halas Hall is Jason George the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. Head Coach John Fox brought George with him from Denver and will have Floyd work to add muscle mass.

So, while there’s currently a hung jury when determining if Floyd was the best choice the Bears one thing is certain, a better judgement will come after the rookie goes through George’s regimen and Vic Fangio’s scheming.

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The Bears pick 10th in round two and here is a list of players still available that might intrigue Pace:

  1. Myles Jack, OLB – considered a top five pick, the diagnosis on his knee means he’ll likely have an abbreviated career. The Bears will probably stay away.
  2. Reggie Ragland, ILB – Ragland’s enlarged aorta also scared off teams.
  3. A’Shawn Robinson, DL – He would definitely be a fit for the Bears and Pace making another trade up to get him is a possibility
  4. Mackenize Alexander, CB – Former Bears player Alex Brown told Comcast Sports that the Vikings choosing WR Laquon Treadwell underscores the need for Pace to upgrade the team’s cornerback position. But, Alexander might not fit the team’s desire for taller corners.
  5. Jarran Reed, DT – One of Marsaw’s favorites. He’s a run-stopping force
  6. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE – The team’s stated desire of building team speed on defense is a god reason to keep an eye on this raw defensive end who is about as fast as Floyd.
  7. Kevin Dodd, DE – The DE might be viewed as a perfect compliment to Floyd as he has a ferociousness about him that could make them a nasty pair on one side of the field
  8. Noah Spence, LB – His off the field issues is probably why he’s still un-drafted. There is no denying that he’s a pass rush specialist and a lot of evaluators I respect actually preferred Spence to Floyd.
  9. Andrew Billings, DT – Another people mover who could occupy offensive linemen for Danny Trevathan and Jerrel Freeman to do their jobs – tackle.
  10. Jason Spriggs, OL – Touted as one of the best athletes in the draft by Kent Platte, Spriggs is a viable left tackle candidate
  11. Derrick Henry, RB – It’s been a long time since the Bears have had a power back who could reliably pick up to the tough yards. Henry fits the mold and has the added bonus of breakaway speed, one he gets going.
  12. Jonathan Bullard – Our Jose Cotto loves Bullard and compares him to a young Justin Smith. He might be the 5-tech the Bears need
  13. Vonn Bell, S – The Bears can not go into camp without stiff competition at the strong safety position. With two strong safeties, surprisingly, chosen in the first round the Bears might be wise to in round two or three.
  14. Hunter Henry, TE – The Bears tight end position is precarious with only one proven player, an injury-prone Zach Miller, on the roster
  15. Sterling Shepard, WR – The kind of slot receiver  a quarterback like Jay Cutler desperately needs and deserves. Think of it. When was the last time Cutler had a slot receiver worth a nickel (other than when Brandon Marshall lined up in the position)?
  16. Chris Jones. DT – Another excellent run-stopper
  17. Kamalei Correa, LB – Drafting this pass rushing linebacker might scare Aaron Rodgers into retiring
  18. Su’A Cravens, DB/LB –  Fangio could creatively use Cravens in a number of ways
  19. Xavien Howard, CB – Six-foot tall with 33″ arms. Howard has intriguing upside, but his 40 time was unimpressive (4.58)
  20. Connor Cook. WR – Drafting a QB in round two may not be ideal, but Cook could be a wise investment for the future.

 

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Aldo Gandia

Aldo Gandia

Among my career highlights I have produced two films while in high school that received nationwide attention; leaned out of a helicopter over the Gulf of Suez at the age of 20 to shoot movies of oil rigs; won an Emmy award for a sports special and another for a kid's fitness show; and led a team of very talented creative professionals to produce break-through corporate communications.


Tags assigned to this article:
Josh LucasLeonard FloydRyan Pace

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