Comparing Leonard Floyd to rookie first round pass rushers

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Leonard Floyd
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Leonard Floyd /

How does Leonard Floyd stack up against every rookie season from a first round edge rusher since 2012?

It is always interesting to compare young players to similar veterans to see how their career arcs differ. For instance, How did Leonard Floyd’s 2016 season stack up against Khalil Mack, or Vic Beasley? Since 2012, 19 edge rushers have been drafted in the first round. Floyd stacks up favorably well to most of them.

Snaps Played

One of the more important aspects of being a rookie is actually seeing the field. This shows that you are learning and know enough about the play book and alignments that the coaching staff can trust you. It also means you can stay healthy, which is the most important aspect of football.

It is not a huge surprise to see that Jarvis Jones, Bjoern Werner, and Dion Jordan were in the bottom five in snaps played, while Khalil Mack and Chandler Jones played the most as rookies. Of course, there are some other variables. For every Dee Ford, who had to sit behind Justin Houston and Tamba Hali before seeing the field, there is a Barkevious Mingo who had absolutely no competition on a poor Browns team and sits third among rookie first round pass rushers in snaps played since 2012

Leonard Floyd did miss some time, but still fared relatively in this area. Floyd finished with the tenth most snaps played, one less than Vic Beasley, and 33 more than Quinton Coples.


The sacks is where Bears fans should begin to get excited. Floyd’s seven sacks compares pretty impressively to former first round picks, and Floyd ranks fourth among those pass rushers with his seven sacks. The rookies who fared better in the sack department were Ezekiel Ansah, Bruce Irvin and Joey Bosa. Right behind him is Chandler Jones and Whitney Mercilus, each with six. Not a bad group to be in. Especially when considering that among the bottom five in sacks is Jarvis Jones, Ford, Jordan, Werner, and Bears favorite Shea McClellin.

Sacks Per Snap

Given the variables that keep a rookie pass rusher off of the field, snaps per sack seems like a good unit of measuring how successful a player was when given the chance. This pushes a player like Dee Ford up from 18th in snaps played and sacks to fifth in snaps per sack. Opportunity cost Ford, but he was still on a better trajectory than Dion Jordan, who finished in the bottom four in snaps, sacks and snaps per snaps.
However, this also affects Khalil Mack in a negative way. Mack was on the field a ridiculous amount and was doing more than rushing the passer. His 248 snaps per sacks as a rookie is 19th to Dion Jordan and his 165 snaps per sack at 18th.

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However, in this statistic Floyd finished with the same rank, fourth. He was in the same company with Irvin, Ansah and Bosa, and had Ford and Mercilus right behind him.

Of course, there is no trajectory or trend to say that this will lead to success. However, it is good to hear mentioned with some of the better names as opposed to the busts of recent seasons in these categories.