Linebacker is an area where the Minnesota Vikings could be looking for a long-term answer, but would Georgia’s Leonard Floyd be a good 2016 NFL Draft pick?
When talking about Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, using the word “athletic” is almost an insult. This kid is a freak of nature, setting incredible numbers at the combine in every single event he participated in. He’s a speedy kid that can do just about anything you ask him to, whether it is rushing the passer, playing coverage or containing the run.
Perhaps his best trait is just how slippery he is. Watching him slide off blocks or use his footwork to get by blockers is really a thing of beauty. Floyd is fast off the snap, recognizes the play well, and is quick to pursue the ball. And when he can’t get to the quarterback, he is good at getting his long arms in the air to disrupt passing lanes.
One area where Floyd might need a little work is bulking up. He has a long, lanky frame which is great to go along with his athleticism, but could make it difficult to have a long-term career in the NFL. He’s already suffered a shoulder injury at the college level that kept him out of the Belk Bowl in 2014 and concerns are that his frame might not be able to take the wear and tear at the linebacker position.
Here are Leonard Floyd’s numbers from the events at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine according to NFL.com:
- CBS Sports: N/A
- NFL.com: Eli Harold, 49ers
Fit for the Minnesota Vikings:
With Chad Greenway wanting to return for one more season and Eric Kendricks available to play inside or outside linebacker, Leonard Floyd could be a great addition to the team. He could be eased in to the outside linebacker position while getting accustomed to the NFL level and give him a long-term plan for success.
I like Leonard Floyd a lot. I’m not as concerned about the injury issues as CBS Sports is, but adding a little power to his game would make him one of the most complete linebackers in the 2016 NFL Draft. To pair him with Barr and Kendricks would make for a scary combination that opposing offenses would have to account for. I’d have no complaints if the Vikings called his name on draft day.