Those were the words announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday night. Intrigue hit Chicago just minutes before Goodell announced that the Chicago Bears had drafted Leonard Floyd. Something rare happened for the Bears. CSN Chicago reported that the Bears traded up two spots with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in order to take Floyd at No. 9. It is likely that the New York Giants were considering drafting Floyd with the 10th pick.
Perhaps the Bears did not need to move up to draft Leonard Floyd, but they did so. In order to trade places with the Buccaneers, the Bears gave up one of their fourth round picks, the 106th pick overall.
By drafting Leonard Floyd, the Bears passed over other prospects DL A’Shawn Robinson, OT Leramy Tunsil, QB Paxton Lynch and OLB Myles Jack. The Bears met with Robinson, Lynch, and Jack. It is uncertain if they worked out Tunsil.
Most NFL observers felt that Leonard Floyd had the most upside of anyone at his position. His speed and raw power allow him to gain leverage at the point of attack. How Floyd handles double-teams and shedding blocks will determine whether or not he will have a successful run with the Bears.
Leonard Floyd seems perfect with the Chicago Bears.
It appears that the Chicago Bears were thinking defense from the beginning. They took a look at Paxton Lynch and running back Ezekiel Elliott. If the latter was available, the Bears would have had a tough decision to make.
Drafting Leonard Floyd could not have been a slam dunk choice for the Bears. There were several players available that the team had on their draft boards, including Myles Jack.
When comparing Leonard Floyd to a Myles Jack, one will quickly point out the difference in height. Floyd is listed at 6’6″ and 244 pounds. Jack is five inches shorter, yet one pound heavier. Their collective skill sets are similar. They both have great motors and can get to the opposing team’s quarterback. The difference between the two is in height and the current health of Myles Jack.
It is his injury that most likely kept Myles Jack from getting drafted in the first round. That was a realization that he came to terms with in a New York Post report.
“[The degenerative problems are] there, but it’s nothing extreme. Down the line, possibly I could have microfracture surgery — potentially. Who knows what will happen?
“Nobody knows how long anybody is going to play in this league. To play three years in this league would be above average.
“I would understand if I fell. This is a talented draft class, so if I was to fall, I wouldn’t take it personally.”
It would be ironic if Jack is there for the Chicago Bears when they pick in the second round. They will have the 10th pick in the second round. A realistic scenario could take place where Jack falls to the Bears at No. 41. Would the Bears take a chance on Myles Jack if that were to happen?
Having Leonard Floyd in the fold already eases the Bears’ need at the five-technique or outside linebacker. That being said, Jack’s potential, especially if he is available at No. 41, is tantalizing. Both players would immediately give the Chicago Bears a dynamic front-seven on paper. The versatility of Leonard Floyd, coupled with the speed of Myles Jack would give the Bears the final missing pieces on defense. They want to play fast and get to the quarterback in Chicago. All it takes is little bit of fortune to break the Bears’ way.
If Jack is not available, there are other players with high grades who will be available. Fellow Alabama teammates A’Shawn Robinson and Reggie Ragland are two of the defensive standouts who could be there at No. 41.
The Bears getting Leonard Floyd requires a high grade regardless of what happens in Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft.
With Leonard Floyd, the Bears filled their need of a pass rusher who will get on the edge. Floyd is far from a finished product though. He will have to add some girth for starters. At 245 pounds, he will have to gain a few pounds so that he does not get pushed around in the trenches. Floyd must also get used to the speed of the NFL game.
[Featured photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]