Leonard Floyd was a jack of all trades as a defensive standout at Georgia. Those types of players too often don’t do any single thing well enough to make any mark at the NFL level. But the Bears, and Floyd, think he can in fact be a master of all.
“I played outside, played inside,” said Floyd on Thursday night. “And I also did a lot of three-point stance as well as two, so I’m pretty comfortable doing pretty much anything in the 3-4 scheme.”
The Bears plan to use him as an outside linebacker, rushing the passer for a team that had no rushman with more than Lamarr Houston’s eight sacks. What that bodes for Houston’s future in Chicago, as well as that of outside linebacker Willie Young, who playfully refused to use the “L” word (“linebacker”) when talking about himself, is cloudy at best.
Neither Houston nor Young was particularly effective in pass defense but “I’m pretty good in coverage, did a lot in college, covered the tight end,” said Floyd, who was credited with three passes defensed, same as Young, in 2015. “I feel like I’ll be fine at the next level.”
The Bears have no plans to set a heavier weight target beyond the 240’s that Floyd checked in at during the NFL Scouting Combine.
“The last thing you want to do is bulk this guy up and then you’re taking away what he does best,” said Bears GM Ryan Pace. “You see some guys put on too much weight too fast and they look stiff and they lose some of that twitch that makes them a special player. We’ve got to do it the right way. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our strength and conditioning coaches, our sports science director Jen Gibson, to get Leonard at an optimal playing weight to maximize his talent.”
But “I definitely want to add more mass to my body,” Floyd said. “I know Chicago has some of the best coaches in the league, they’re going to coach me up hard, and I’m excited to learn...
“I want to add more power to my pass-rush to go with my speed. That’s a thing I need to learn and pick up in the league.”