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Falcons bring 16 staffers to see Leonard Floyd, Georgia prospects


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Falcons bring 16 staffers to see Leonard Floyd, Georgia prospects

 

Vaughn McClure - ESPN Staff Writer

 

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons had a combination of 16 coaches and front office staff members Wednesday at the University of Georgia to check out first-round linebacker prospect Leonard Floyd and his teammates at pro day.

 

Head coach Dan Quinn watched the action alongside general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli. Defensive line coach Bryan Cox helped with drills, while linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich stood next to Quinn observing Floyd.

 

Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and special teams assistant Eric Sutulovich conducted drills with kickers Marshall Morgan and Patrick Beless near the end of the session, while running backs coach Bobby Turner had an extended conversation with fullback Quayvon Hicks.

 

The others Falcons coaches in attendance included defensive assistants Marquand Manuel, Jerome Henderson, Chad Walker and Doug Mallory, along with assistant offensive line coach Keith Carter and special teams intern Lance Schulters.

 

Director of college scouting Steve Sabo and scout Anthony Robinson also attended the session.

 

Having such a large contingent at the pro day appeared to symbolize a change in philosophy for the Falcons, who made changes their pro personnel and college scouting departments this offseason. However, Dimitroff sounded as if such was normal procedure.

 

The Falcons didn't have a big group at Georgia's pro day last year.

 

"I think it was unfortunate last year; we had some timing issues," Dimitroff said. "We happened to be on the road at another private workout that we were doing, and it presented itself that we were there. So we, obvious, didn't have the same coverage.

 

"We do believe, there's no question, that we need to cover the local teams very, very well because that's important to us. It's a philosophy about making sure that you tap in into the Georgia talent."

 

The 6-6, 248-pound Floyd, a inside-outside linebacker/pass-rusher who played all over the field at Georgia, has been projected to go to the Falcons at No. 17 in some mock drafts. Floyd did not complete all the testing Wednesday after coming down with a stomach illness, but he has the length the Falcons desire.

 

"Obviously, he's a top-notch athlete who has the ability to get up and around the corner, and he's a very versatile athlete," Dimitroff said. "He's multi-facet in his approach to this game, and that's always a positive."

 

Floyd posted a 35-inch vertical during the workout. A New York Jets representative took Floyd away for an extended conversation immediately after the pro day workout. Floyd said he has a private workout scheduled Monday with the Oakland Raiders a dinner scheduled March 25 with Indianapolis Colts.

 

"I feel like I rush the best," Floyd said of his talent. "Whether it's rushing against the tackle or either rushing against a running back, I feel like I pass-rush the best."

 

Another Georgia linebacker, Jordan Jenkins, said he has private workouts upcoming with the Raiders, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. Jenkins ran the 40 in 4.76 seconds Wednesday and had a 38-inch vertical, according to the numbers compiled by the school.

 

The Falcons sorely need to improve their pass-rush after finishing last in the league with 19 sacks last season. They also need linebackers capable of getting out in coverage.

 

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan also attended the pro day.

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/19545/falcons-bring-16-staff-members-to-see-leonard-floyd-georgia-prospects

 

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I realize Athens is just up the road from Flowery Branch - but that is a lot of staff to go up there - and they were not there for Marshall Friggin' Morgan.

Early on, I would say Falcons probably have Leonard Floyd as one of their initial 5 candidates for the 1st overall pick.   Not saying he is the favorite, but clearly they are interested to have that many guys go up there.   

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

I realize Athens is just up the road from Flowery Branch - but that is a lot of staff to go up there - and they were not there for Marshall Friggin' Morgan.

Early on, I would say Falcons probably have Leonard Floyd as one of their initial 5 candidates for the 1st overall pick.   Not saying he is the favorite, but clearly they are interested to have that many guys go up there.   

Yeah I'm getting the feeling that he is in play at 17 also.

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5 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

I realize Athens is just up the road from Flowery Branch - but that is a lot of staff to go up there - and they were not there for Marshall Friggin' Morgan.

Early on, I would say Falcons probably have Leonard Floyd as one of their initial 5 candidates for the 1st overall pick.   Not saying he is the favorite, but clearly they are interested to have that many guys go up there.   

 

4 minutes ago, FentayeJones said:

Yeah I'm getting the feeling that he is in play at 17 also.

If they went that direction, do you see them playing Floyd at Leo and moving Beasley to SLB?

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Just now, Truth B Told (TRU) said:

 

If they went that direction, do you see them playing Floyd at Leo and moving Beasley to SLB?

I'm w/ Larry above^^^^ - not sure what to do w/ Floyd - I recognize his talent but he is a specialty piece that does not fit into every phase of the defense.   Beasley is already a liability against the run - not sure I want another liability in there against the run.

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9 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

I'm w/ Larry above^^^^ - not sure what to do w/ Floyd - I recognize his talent but he is a specialty piece that does not fit into every phase of the defense.   Beasley is already a liability against the run - not sure I want another liability in there against the run.

I think he could fit in. But you **** sure better have a plan for him. From body sculpting to role. You can't just bring him in as a "well, we took the best talent and we'll figure it out later" type player. 

I will say though....we have to be willing to concede some stuff, IMO. If pass rush is the prime objective (and I think we all agree it is) I don't know that you can keep taking guys off the table because you think they might not be good against the run. I think we all want foundational complete players who excel against the run and in generating a pass rush....but those guys are fairly rare. We might have to just focus on getting after the QB and dealing with the run stuff later. 

 

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46 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

I realize Athens is just up the road from Flowery Branch - but that is a lot of staff to go up there - and they were not there for Marshall Friggin' Morgan.

Early on, I would say Falcons probably have Leonard Floyd as one of their initial 5 candidates for the 1st overall pick.   Not saying he is the favorite, but clearly they are interested to have that many guys go up there.   

And that's the guy I would love for us to pick up... Well.. one of about three or four.. lol

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If i had to pick one player that we may pick at #17, and my life depended on it.  I'd have to go with Floyd right now, That may change by draft time. But that would be the one I'd have to pick at this moment. The guy has Star potential in a year or two, Just like Beasley does. 

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1 minute ago, Power I said:

Where do you play Leonard Floyd? Rushing SLB and line him up inside in certain situations and blitz him through the A gap. He's not an edge setter, but that's why Brooks Reed got paid. Reed sets the edge, Floyd makes the highlights. 

Reed set jack squat last yr.

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Floyd is my guy. Rookie year let him split time with Reed at SLB. Reed takes over running downs Floyd plays passing downs as a blitzer or in coverage. Also he can play DE in nickel packages when Shelby kicks inside. Having a Dline of Beasley Jarrett Shelby Floyd on passing downs is legit. Floyd might have the best first step in this class and is relentless as a pass rusher. Makes so many impact plays a game. Having Reed on the roster will give Floyd time to gain some more weight/strength. Then in 2017 we can cut Reed and his 5 mil cap hit and Floyd can take over full time SLB duties. 

Edited by Bobby.Digital
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