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2016 NFL Draft: Is Leonard Floyd worth the Giants' attention?

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The Giants were at the Georgia pro day, reportedly to look at linebacker Leonard Floyd. Is he worth showing up for?

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It's worth noting whenever the New York Giants' brass goes to a pro day. That happened when Jerry Reese, Marc Ross, and linebackers' coach Bill McGovern were on hand at the Georgia BulldogsPro Day to see linebacker Leonard Floyd in person.

A bout of food poisoning kept him from finishing his workout, but the presence of the Giants top executives shows interest. Independent scouts aren't sure whether Floyd fits with the Giants' defense, but their interest means we should probably get familiar with him.

Measurables

Pros

  • Fantastic length for the position at 6-foot-6 with 33 1/8-inch arms, Floyd is much longer than most linebackers.
  • Very athletic. Showed speed and lower body explosiveness at the combine, showed he can play in space in college.
  • Talented pass rusher. Didn't have as much production his traits suggest he should -- Georgia playing him as an inside linebacker or slot defender held him back -- but his length, lean around the edge, and inside counter move make him very tough for blockers to stop.
  • Can play man coverage, should be able to cover (most) tight ends and running backs at the next level.
  • Looks like a high-motor, relentless defender. Shows good hustle in pursuit and can be difficult to block completely.

Cons

  • Very thin. Surprised by showing up to the combine at 244, but struggled out-muscling blockers in school. Needs to show that he can play at that weight and play better strength.
  • Age. At 23, he is a bit old for a rookie who came out as a junior
  • Needs to work on consistently playing with better pad level.
  • Wrap-up tackler, but isn't a hard hitter.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 27th overall (2/5/16 board)

Mocking The Draft - 20th

CBS - 24th

Draft Tek - 38th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

In a word: Yes.

Questions about scheme aside, Floyd is an edge rusher and a linebacker who is capable in man coverage. That's almost exactly the kind of player the Giants need. He needs to get stronger and play with better pad level, but his length and quickness make him difficult to block completely.

Now, as for scheme, Floyd has the versatility to likely be able to play strong side or weakside linebacker in a base four-man front, and the "LEO" position in a hybrid defense -- and obviously outside linebacker in a three-man front. Steve Spagnuolo has said that they want the Giants to run a "multiple" defense that can throw a variety of alignments at offenses to create mismatches or exploit weaknesses.

Final Thoughts

Mike Mayock said it best: Leonard Floyd will be a polarizing conversation. He has some very promising traits and shouldn't have to come off the field. But his build is rare enough that it is difficult to find a comparison for him. Floyd's future in the NFL very well could come down which team drafts him. I have seen Floyd compared to Anthony Barr (more athletic but less stout), Jason Taylor.

But Floyd's length, quickness, coverage ability, and build are also reminiscent of Dion Jordan. While Jordan was a promising prospect, Miami tried to play him at defensive end rather than the outside linebacker position he was probably better suited for.

He could be a weapon if the team that selects him puts him in position to succeed.