In terms of a stylistic duo, there is not a more perfect pairing than the skill set of Leonard Floyd next to the skill set of new Chicago Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack
Leonard Floyd is not your typical edge rusher. Yes, he has the length and size that you would expect from an outside linebacker to rush off of the edge. However, at Georgia, Floyd played off of the ball some.
What makes Floyd so intriguing is that for his size and length, he is an incredibly fluid athlete. Areas such as change of direction and straight-line speed are his strengths. Unfortunately for him, this does mean that power and combination pass rushing moves have been his weaker areas of play.
Leonard Floyd has had a strong start to his career, but a lot of it cannot be put into context due to the Bears dropping him back into coverage often. They like to use Floyd as a chess piece who can rush or drop back. This helps the defense schematically but hurts Floyd regarding sack production.
What also hurts Floyd is that he has never had a complement on the other side of him. In acquiring Khalil Mack the Chicago Bears added not just a complement to Floyd, but the perfect complement to Floyd.
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Now, let’s get one thing straight, Khalil Mack can pretty much do anything on a football field. That is why he was so highly regarded. Still, when it comes to his greatest strengths, that would be his power and strength in the trenches.
Mack played in a 4-3 defense with the Oakland Raiders. He was typically a defensive lineman who put his hand in the dirt. He burst upfield, he set the edge against the run and penetrated into the backfield on any given snap. If you were to identify a weakness, it would be playing off of the ball and in space. His best ability to stop the pass is to sack the quarterback.
Do you see the meshing coming together? Floyd with speed and fluidity space needs a run stuffing partner. Mack, who defends the run as good as anyone in the NFL is a power player who can dominate his opponent physically.
Yes, Khalil Mack would be a perfect fit next to anyone. However, the dynamic and strengths that Floyd and Mack bring to the table bounce off of each other in a perfect mold. If this duo can figure out the fire and ice routine, they will be a lethal tandem for years to come.