Leonard Floyd Should Be Arizona Cardinals' No. 1 Draft Target Following 2016 NFL Combine

By Kyle Nishida

The Arizona Cardinals were scouting the talent at the NFL Combine and probably saw a lot of players they would like to draft. With the Cardinals looking to contend for a Super Bowl in 2016, their draft picks have to help them win immediately. One prospect they should target is outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.

Floyd left the University of Georgia with one year of eligibility remaining. However, the 23-year-old prospect started in all 37 games he played as a Bulldog. In his three seasons at Georgia, he accumulated 182 combined tackles, 17 sacks and five forced fumbles. Floyd used his speed to get around college offensive tackles and create havoc in opposing backfields.

An excellent performance at the combine showed off Floyd’s tremendous speed and explosiveness. He recorded a vertical jump of 39.5 inches, which was second-best among linebackers, and a 10-foot, 7-inch broad jump, which was third-best among linebackers. He also posted a 4.60 40-yard dash, which was the fifth fastest time among the linebackers. Shockingly, Floyd also showed up to the event bigger than when he left Georgia. In his last season at Georgia, Floyd was listed at 231 pounds. Friday, he weighed in at 244 pounds. The Cardinals certainly need better pass rushers, and Floyd fits the bill.

Last season, the Cardinals finished tied for 20th in sacks with 36 and most of those were generated from the blitz. As a result, they constantly left their defensive backs in one-on-one situations. The Cardinals would love to have an outside linebacker who can create pressure by himself, and Floyd can definitely help. With Floyd, the Cardinals can commit one more player to coverage and take pressure of their main defensive backs in the process.

There are not a lot of top-tier outside linebackers in this year’s draft, but Floyd is definitely one of them. His speed and explosiveness is hard to find in the NFL. The Cardinals need to make him their No. 1 target in the draft.

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