FLOWERY BRANCH — NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock believes that former Georgia defensive end/linebacker Leonard Floyd needs to play with more power, but still could be a top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Chicago.
“Leonard Floyd is one of my most conflicted players,” Mayock said on Friday. “There’s a big part of me that wants to say he’s a top 1o talent and there’s another part of me . . . when I’ve looked back at my notes and I’ve (reviewed) at least six of his games. All over the place I have the word ‘under-powered.’ Not just at the point of the attack, but he gets stuck in the pass game also rushing the quarterback.”
Floyd is scheduled to work out for the Falcons on Saturday. The Falcons have the 17th overall pick in the draft.
“If he doesn’t win with speed …he gets stuck,” Mayock said. “That worries me.”
Because pass-rushing is at such a premium in the league, Mayock believes teams will overlook Floyd’s lack of power. He also noted that Floyd had a nice up-and-under pass-rush move.
“He showed up at the combine bigger and heavier than all of us expected,” Mayock said. “His athletic ability is amazing and his burst off the edge is rare. So, at the end of the day in a pass-first league, teams are going to lean toward what he can do as opposed to what he can’t do.
“What he can do is come off the line and get off the edge.”
Floyd is appealing to 4-3 and 3-4 teams. The Falcons, who were last in the league with 19 sacks, are a 4-3 team.
“For a 4-3 team, I think he’s a linebacker on first and second downs off the line of scrimmage and when you go to your sub package, which is 60 to 70 percent of your snaps, he’s going to be a hand in the dirt defensive end,” Mayock said. “I think the 3-4 teams look at him as a 3-4 outside linebacker. But at the end of the day, could he be a top 10 pick, I think he could surprise so people and get in the top 10 somewhere, yes.”