Leonard Floyd has been rising and rising, and it's starting to look like he's going to be a top ten pick in the 2016 NFL draft. It's gotten so hyperbolic that Todd McShay said on yesterday's ESPN First Draft podcast that Floyd is the "hottest name in the draft today," agreeing with Mel Kiper Jr. that he's a rising prospect. McShay went as far as to say he'd be "shocked" if Floyd dropped out of the top ten -- which heavily implies the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could take him at number nine.
Leonard Floyd was a linebacker for Georgia, but played all over the defense -- in coverage, as a run-stopping linebacker, on the edge and as a pure pass-rusher. At 6'6", 244 lbs. he has a very lanky frame for a defender, but he's a tremendous athlete who ran a ridiculous 4.6-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He's explosive and plays hard, but his actual production on tape is inconsistent.
Floyd is such a confusing prospect to me, especially for the Bucs. He's incredibly fast for his size, and has some real explosiveness to him -- but he has nothing other than the ability to run quickly. Very few pass-rush moves, no counters, no real footwork. There's some potential for him to turn into a good pass-rusher, but there's no real precedent for an elite player in that mold. It's hard to see how he'd fit the Bucs, and how he'd have an early impact -- there's tremendous on-field risk there.
Bob McGinn quoted one anonymous scout who said he has "first-round traits and third-, fourth-round inconsistency," which sounds about right. That athleticism is going to make someone fall in love with him, though, and they may end up getting a steal because of that -- or an outright bust.