Bulldogs Beat

Georgia's Leonard Floyd has opportunity to answer questions, concerns at NFL scouting combine

Jason Butt

jbutt@macon.com

Leonard Floyd celebrates with Georgia fans on top of Sanford Stadium's hedges.
Leonard Floyd celebrates with Georgia fans on top of Sanford Stadium's hedges.

A lot of questions surround former Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd with the NFL scouting combine underway.

Depending on who you ask, you’re bound to get a different response. Reviews are mixed based on the on-field production he put on tape at Georgia. The upside, however, is large, given the measurables he’s entering the NFL draft process with.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock appears split on his view of Floyd. Floyd, who totaled 74 tackles and 4 ½ sacks during his junior season, could wind up being a first-round pick. He could also easily slip out of the opening 31 picks and into the second round.

"Leonard Floyd is a polarizing figure from Georgia," Mayock said. "Some people think he's a top-10 pick, some of them think he's going to be (Cleveland Browns linebacker) Barkevious Mingo, meaning a great-looking, fast but underpowered player who ultimately won't live up to what he should."

This isn’t the first comparison to Mingo that Floyd has received. Mingo, rated highly due to his natural athleticism coming out of college at LSU, was taken by the Browns sixth overall in the 2013 draft.

But Mingo has yet to justify the high selection as a pro, meaning there could be hesitation from teams who see taking Floyd as going down a similar route. This week at the combine, Floyd will have a chance to not only impress scouts and front-office personnel during drills but to interview well with them as well.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., who initially tabbed him as a late first-rounder, moved Floyd out of an opening-day slot altogether. Kiper has too many concerns with Floyd at the moment.

"Week to week he was too quiet in some games," Kiper said. "He was handled by some tackles that shouldn’t be able to get the best of him. … I think the combine will be important to determine if he will in fact be a late first-round pick."

Floyd played the 2015 season at 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds. Kiper made the argument that another thing holding Floyd back at the moment is that his weight isn’t where it needs to be at the moment.

"He has to get that weight up a little bit," Kiper said. "I want to see what he weighs in at because we don’t have accurate measurables on these underclassmen until we get to the combine. Weight for Floyd is going to be important."

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