Draft week brought building buzz that Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd would be a top-10 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, which inspired skepticism from this corner. The Chicago Bears made a trade to make it happen though, sending the 11th overall pick and a fourth-round pick this year to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to go up to No. 9 and take Floyd.
The New York Giants were known to like Floyd, so the Bears felt the need to jump up two spots rather than take a chance Floyd wouldn’t fall to them. Making such a move would be worthwhile for an elite talent, but there are questions about Floyd’s ability to be physically strong enough to succeed in the NFL when his athleticism won’t be enough.
Floyd does bring versatility to the table, with edge rushing ability and experience playing off the line of scrimmage. That surely appeals to a defensive-minded head coach like John Fox, but Floyd needs to either have double-digit sacks or 100 tackles on an annual basis to justify a top-10 pick. In a multi-faceted role, both marks may be out of reach.
Time will tell if the Bears truly blew it trading up for Floyd. But they could have stayed put at No. 11, or even traded down, and gotten a player who better fit their need at inside linebacker (Reggie Ragland) or otherwise along the defensive line (Sheldon Rankins, A’Shawn Robinson). Floyd is a jack of many trades, but seemingly a master of none at a high enough level to become a real impact player.