If the Bears sign inside linebacker Danny Trevathan in free agency as they are expected to do Wednesday, they’ll have even more room to address their need for a pass rusher in the draft.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the Bears taking Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the draft. The 6-6, 244-pound Floyd is a “freakish” athlete whose production hasn’t quite equalled his athletic ability. But his potential as a pass rusher has intrigued NFL scouts — enough that Kiper moved Floyd from out of the first round in his previous mock draft prior to the NFL scouting combine to No. 11 in the first round in the mock draft he released Monday.
“He’s one of those — I wouldn’t say boom-or-bust, but he’s a tough guy to get a handle on,” Kiper said. “I’m going by what I’m hearing. And everybody I talk to in the league said, ‘Hey, he’s going in the top part of the first round.
“This is a mock draft. It’s based on what you predict what could happen. And that’s what I’m hearing on Floyd — somewhere in the top half of Round 1. And the Bears could certainly use a pass rusher opposite McPhee.”
Floyd, who is from Eastman, Ga., played three years at Georgia but will turn 24 in September. He had 6.5 sacks as a freshman and 6.0 sacks as a sophomore, but struggled with a shoulder injury that eventually was surgically repaired. As a junior in 2015, he was Georgia’s second-leading tackler with 74 and had 4.5 sacks. In three years at Georgia, he had 28.5 tackles-for-loss, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Though he was listed at 6-4, 231 by Georgia last season, he measured 6-5 5/8, 244 at the combine, where he ran a 4.6 40 — fifth among outside linebackers. His 39.5-inch vertical jump was second among outside linebackers and his broad jump of 10 feet, seven inches was third.
“He checked off all the boxes on the measurable side,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said of Floyd’s combine performance.
But that puts Floyd is a somewhat dubious “workout warrior” category, with other players whose combine performance didn’t quite match their on-the-field production. Not that Floyd wasn’t a productive player at Georgia.
“He showed his athletic ability [last season],” Kiper said. “He’s got the length. He had his weight up from what it was expected to be. He flashed, but he wasn’t consistent. I thought he was quiet in some games that I watched where he really shouldn’t have been, considering his talent and physical ability.”
Kiper said his concern is that Floyd was not as dominant in college as a player of his athletic ability should have been. But many NFL scouts are satisfied he will be more effective and consistent at the higher level.
“He’s more of a finesse player than a physical player,” Kiper said. “There are times when he was handled, he was blocked. He wasn’t as active, wasn’t as disruptive as you would think somebody with that kind of size, that kind of athletic ability, that kind of quickness should be. And this is the collegiate level. So you get to the NFL, that’s what concerns me. But you talk to people in the league and they think top half of the first round, so we’ll see.”