Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd is visiting with the Buffalo Bills Thursday night into Friday, a source said. Floyd would certainly fit a need in Rex Ryan's defense as arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL Draft after Ohio State's Joey Bosa.
So the due diligence continues. This month, the Bills have welcomed a slew of quarterbacks and front seven players on defense into One Bills Drive.
If Floyd falls to No. 19 overall, he may make the most sense.
A long, chiseled 6 foot 6, 244 pounds, Floyd started three seasons at Georgia. In 2015, Floyd led Georgia in sacks for a third straight year (4.5) and tied for the lead in tackles for loss (10.5) in earning second team All-SEC honors. He also had 15 hurries. Speed, he says, is his greatest asset. And speed off the edge is what this 3-4 scheme could use after totaling a franchise-low 21 sacks last season.
At the NFL scouting combine, Floyd ran a 4.60 in the 40-yard dash, fifth-best among all linebackers.
"I can use my speed to beat tackles," Floyd said in Indianapolis. "That probably will translate well.”
Every defense in every scheme covets game-changing pass rushers, yet multiple draft analysts have cited a lack of edge rushers in this year's draft. That could push Floyd out of Buffalo's range. He actually played last season around 230 pounds and put on weight as the season progressed, eventually checking in at 244 at the Combine and proving he can still move well.
Floyd flashed a burst around the corner in college and, while raw, might be the weapon opposite Jerry Hughes that Buffalo sorely needs. He closes with a vengeance. Ryan and co. have also brought in Oklahoma State end Emmanuel Ogbah for a visit.
Nobody at Floyd's position possesses his combination of length and speed. Some teams also view Floyd as an inside linebacker.
“A big strength of my game would be my speed," Floyd said. "A weakness would probably be me (not) having more than one pass rush move. I can work on it and come up with a new move that I can go to rather than just using speed.”
True, teams probably would like to have seen more sack production out of Floyd (17 in three seasons). He said himself in Indy that he still needs to "learn how to be a pro." One common critique of Floyd has been the week-in, week-out consistency. On to the NFL, Floyd will also likely need to add and keep weight on his wide receiver-like frame. He'll be facing bigger, stronger blockers on the edge now.
Floyd believes the SEC prepared him for this leap.
"You’ve got to come every week in the SEC in order to keep winning," Floyd said. "You can’t slip up because you can get knocked off.”
If Floyd puts it all together — and the Ryan twins might view Floyd as a project to mold — the reward could be substantial. Buffalo is now putting his football IQ to the test.
Teams are allowed to have 30 prospects in for visits. Floyd would bring the reported total to 19.
- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (FoxSports.com)
- Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State (FoxSports.com)
- Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Syracuse.com)
- Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (CBS Sports)
- Su’a Cravens, LB, USC (Houston Chronicle)
- Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (FoxSports.com)
- Kelvin Fisher, Jr., S, UTEP (Houston Chronicle)
- Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
- Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State (FoxSports.com)
- Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama (Houston Chronicle)
- Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU (Rotoworld)
- Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
- Antonio Morrison, LB, Florida (WKBW)
- Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State (NFL.com)
- Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (NFL.com)
- Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama (NFL.com)
- Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville (DraftInsider.net)
- Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (NFL Network)
- Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State (FoxSports.com)