The New York Giants were apparently extremely interested observers at the Georgia Pro Day on Wednesday, where pass rushing defensive end/linebacker Leonard Floyd was the star attraction. Giants General Manager Jerry Reese reportedly led the Giants contingent on hand to watch Floyd.
Floyd is a 6-foot-6, 244-pound "edge" player with experience standing up as an outside linebacker and playing with his hand in the ground as a 4-3 defensive end. CBS Sports ranks him No. 24 on its 2016 NFL Draft prospects list. Draft Countdown ranks Floyd No. 23 and calls him a "Classic 'tweener with a rangy frame who is a dynamic edge pass rusher." Floyd was No. 27 on the Big Blue View Big Board prior to the NFL Scouting Combine. NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Floyd at No. 18 in his list of the top 50 prospects.
Is Floyd really a consideration for the Giants at No. 10? It would seem so. Despite adding Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison in free agency along with re-signing Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants could use a dynamic edge player.
I turned to a number of scouts and talent evaluators for opinions as to whether Floyd was right for the Giants. Specifically, I asked most if he could play the SAM linebacker spot in the Giants' 4-3 defense. Opinions varied widely.
"I think he could do it. Would fit the system for them. Has to be primarily a pass rusher, though," said Shane P. Hallam of DraftTV and About.com.
"Lacks the muscle to be a SAM. He is best as a weak side run and hit linebacker in a 4-3," was the opinion of Dan Shonka from Ourlads.
Scott Wright of Draft Countdown isn't sold on Floyd as the right pick for the Giants.
"In the past I have been a sucker for rangy pass rushers like Floyd. Got burnt on it with KeKe Mingo so I am a little more cautious now.," Wright said. "In terms of talent the top half of Round 1 isn't a stretch for Floyd, I just don't really see a fit with the Giants. "
Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking The Draft agrees with Wright that Floyd is a difficult fit for the Giants.
"As a four-man front SAM, I think it would be a tough fit. He's just not accustomed to moving backward," Kadar said. "As an 4-3 end, he'd need to get stronger."
Greg Gabriel, fomer college scouting director for the Chicago Bears who now works for the National Football Post, isn't high on Floyd.
"Don't see him playing over a TE. He isn't strong at the point and can be slow to shed," Gabriel said. "Personally I think he's over rated. Supposed to be a sack guy but only has four sacks (4.5 in 2015)."
We haven't profiled Floyd yet. Here, though, is a video look at him.
The fact that both Wright and Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) mentioned Barkevious Mingo when they discussed Floyd was enough to give me pause.
I certainly don't have the talent evaluation/film study skills of any of the evaluators referenced here. Watching Floyd, though, I couldn't help but think about former Giants defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. I can also picture the Giants drafting a guy like this and, at least initially, using him as a pure pass-rush specialist either standing up or from a three-point stance.
We will study Floyd in greater detail. For now, though, seeing what other evaluators have to say about him what are your thoughts on Floyd as the potential pick for the Giants at No. 10?