Leonard Floyd Scouting Report

Leonard Floyd Scouting Report

Danny Shimon is one of our Bears Barroom talent evaluators. He attended the Chicago Bears practice on July 30th and filed this Leonard Floyd scouting report.

Leonard Floyd’s NFL career and first training camp have gotten off to a shaky start. Floyd reportedly entered the start of camp last Thursday already battling an illness which led to him being carted off the practice field during the first day of camp.

Floyd did return to the field on Saturday, albeit on a limited basis, and while he still has a long way to go there were a couple of observations that stood out to me as I observed him participate in football activities for the first time.

Right off the bat, there are two things you can’t help but notice about Floyd. One is his length and the other is how thin he is. Neither of these is a surprise as Floyd’s weight and length were well documented as a strength (length) and weaknesses (thinness) coming out of Georgia.

Taking the positive angle first, you can see how effective he is when using his long arms (33 1/8-inch) and big paws (10 1/8) to grab hold of his blocker. He extends his arms to keep the blocker off his body while continuing to flow and shadow the play down the line of scrimmage.

There was a play in practice, as Floyd was running with the third-team defense, where he demonstrated this ability perfectly. The play was a hand-off to Senorise Perry who broke the run to the outside. Floyd was blocked on the play by veteran tight end Tony Moeaki. Perry broke the run to the outside and Floyd extended his arms and planted his hands into Moeaki’s chest keeping him away from his body. By doing this he was able to flow down the line keeping his left arm free to then wrap up Perry as he got close to him. Floyd dropped the running back for little to no gain.

Plays like this will help Floyd see increased playing time come Sundays. He needs to prove to his coaches that besides his speed and athleticism he will not be a liability in run defense and is capable of setting a hard edge on the outside to help defend the run.

Floyd’s speed, along with his short-area quickness, was also on display Saturday. On another run play, the action flowed away from him which Floyd quickly recognized. He sprinted down the line of scrimmage so fast that no one could get a hand on him. He tackled the running-back from behind.

Leonard Floyd scouting report

Photographs courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com

As a rookie this is how Floyd needs to win battles up front. He must utilize his speed and athleticism because he’s currently incapable of anchoring and taking on blocks. He’s simply not strong enough to win many battles at the point-of-contact. Floyd is better served running around or away from blockers in his pursuit of quarterbacks and ball carriers.

As for his weight, as I mentioned earlier, Floyd does look rail thin. I am taking into consideration that he probably lost a couple of pounds fighting off his illness. The key for Floyd is not how much he weighs but how much stronger can he get.

Floyd never participated in the bench press workout leading up to the draft so we can only assume that the rep count would not have been impressive. Floyd needs to get stronger especially in the upper body. This will allow him to continue to fight off blocks, like he did against Moeaki. When he does add upper body strength he will become a complete player who not only can boost the defense’s outside pass rush but provide all-around play.

In closing, I actually came away from Saturday’s practice more encouraged about the possibilities of what Floyd can bring the Bears defense this season than I was before practice started.

What we need to understand is Floyd will not be lined up as a hand in the dirt three-down defensive end. Instead Bears fans will see him lined up all over the field whether it’s in coverage or as a stand-up pass rusher. What he brings is the aforementioned speed and athleticism that will allow him to chase down ball carriers sideline-to-sideline and pressure quarterbacks off the edge or up the middle on delayed blitzes through the A-gap.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wanted Floyd on his defense and has a plan on just how to employ him to help create pressure and cause havoc on opposing offenses.

While Floyd did make both mental and physical mistakes in Saturday’s practice (which is typical for a rookie participating in only his second partial practice) I also saw an athlete who will not be pigeon holed into a certain position on the field, but instead will be placed in multiple positions along the front seven where he has the best opportunities to succeed. I also saw a player who is capable of adding an element of speed, length and athleticism that has been sorely missing on the Bears defense for the past few seasons.



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Danny Shimon

Danny Shimon

NFL Draft Columnist for http://Todayspigskin.com NFL writer for National Football post and NFCNBarroom

Tags assigned to this article:
Leonard FloydVic Fangio

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