Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams. Here are five key things you should know about him:
Meet OLB Leonard Floyd!
1) He carried an impressive streak into the NFL
From his senior season at Georgia through his third NFL season with the Chicago Bears, Floyd registered at least one defensive score in each of those four years.
It started with returning a fumble 96 yards for a touchdown against the University of Tennessee on Oct. 2015 and ended with a pick-six against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9 of the 2018 NFL season. He had a strip-sack against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 7 of his rookie season in 2016, recovering the ensuing fumble in the endzone for a touchdown. Six weeks later in that same season, Floyd recorded a safety against the 49ers. He also posted a safety Week 5 against the Vikings in 2017.
Those performances in the pros coincided with three of the six games in his career in which he tallied 2.0 sacks.
2) New Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is a familiar face
Floyd worked directly with Staley in 2017 and 2018 when Staley was the Bears' outside linebackers coach.
It was a productive partnership, too: Floyd made 81 combined tackles, 8.5 sacks, six pass breakups and one interception (pick-six vs. Bills) during that span.
Staley followed then-Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to the Denver Broncos in 2019, in what would be Floyd's fourth and final season in Chicago. Now, Floyd is reunited with his old position coach.
3) A player with high potential
Former NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, now general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, made an interesting comment about Floyd as a prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft.
"Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was in San Francisco when it drafted Aldon Smith. Floyd is very similar," Mayock said, according to Floyd's draft profile from that year. "... He has the best burst and get-off in this entire draft. He's a sub-package, designated pass rusher on Day 1, just like Aldon Smith was in San Francisco."
During his first two seasons working under Fangio, Smith posted 14 sacks as a rookie in 2011 and 19.5 in 2012. The 2012 season saw Smith earn First Team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press plus a Super Bowl appearance. That isn't mentioned to place those kind of expectations on Floyd, but rather the connection by Mayock that was made when figuring out what led the Bears to taking Floyd with the ninth overall pick.
4) Durable and available
Last season, Floyd started all 16 games for the second-straight year.
Overall, he started in each of the 54 games he appeared in with the Bears.
5) One of the top college linebackers in America as a junior
If draft pedigree didn't already indicate this, his college resume will.
During his third and final season at Georgia, Floyd was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's most outstanding collegiate linebacker.
Floyd collected 17 sacks (11th in school history) and 28.5 tackles for loss (ninth in school history), five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his time as a Bulldog.