Chicago Bears: Was Leonard Floyd a bad pick?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: James White #28 of the New England Patriots carries the football against Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears in the third quarter at Soldier Field on October 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: James White #28 of the New England Patriots carries the football against Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears in the third quarter at Soldier Field on October 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

A Bleacher Report writer made headlines calling Chicago Bears Leonard Floyd a bad pick. After a disappointing week against the Patriots is the criticism fair?

Nobody can say at this point that Leonard Floyd was a good pick. There is no way that you can say that the Chicago Bears are happy with what they have gotten from Leonard Floyd as a pass rusher so far in 2018. On top of that, last week was the worst game of the season for Floyd.

Floyd was in a great spot, taking on the Patriots backup right tackle. However, he did not take advantage whatsoever. After his poor performance in a great spot, he was bound to get blaster.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report went so far as to write off Floyd, saying that the pick was bad. Below you can hear the audio of what Miller had to say about the former ninth overall pick.

Again, nobody is saying Floyd was a great pick or a home run in any way. However, we first have to wonder what Miller is talking about when he says that he thought Floyd was going to turn out to be as good as Anthony Barr. Barr has the same number of sacks this season as Floyd, and this is year five for Barr.

Barr had one sack last season and has 10.5 in his career. Floyd already has more in his first two seasons than Barr. Yes, Barr is a 4-3 outside linebacker,  but Miller was making the case that they were both big pass rushers who could also play in space.

Floyd is a much superior pass rusher. Miller was also saying that his performance in coverage against White showed that he is not the level of Barr. Pro Football Focus has Floyd with a 60 grade in coverage. Barr has a 51.9 in coverage this season. One more time, not saying Floyd was a good pick. But if the bar for Miller is Anthony Barr, Leonard Floyd was a good pick.

This brings up a much broader point overall. Anthony Barr was a former top ten pick, who is in his fifth year. Still, it is apparent that Matt Miller and I disagree with just how impactful he has been to the Vikings over his career. Sure, he has had success and earned a fifth-year contract. However, he has been extremely inconsistent, similarly to Floyd and the Vikings are going to let him go after the year when his contract expires.

Was Anthony Barr a bad pick? According to Miller, no. However, Floyd is going to play five years in Chicago, he has better sack numbers and is better than he showed against James White in coverage. Or, he is at least better than Anthony Barr.

Complexity of the Draft

Then, you start to look at the names around Leonard Floyd. Keep in mind the value of a pass rusher and a quarterback on a rookie contract.  These players make the most compared to their peers at veteran status. However, the draft awards contracts by draft slot, not position. So, the highest paid positions have the biggest disparity through their first five years. Teams are incentivized to take a pass rusher, cornerback, quarterback and tackle in the top ten.

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With that in mind, Eli Apple and Vernon Hargreaves were the players taken directly after Floyd. Apple is on his second team, and Hargreaves is on the IR. Neither of those players were better bets.

Sheldon Rankins went next and is starting to come together after two disappointing seasons with the New Orleans Saints. However, Rankins plays the same position as Akiem Hicks.

Laremy Tunsil is a value position and a valued talent but was in the midst of a lot of public scrutinies that evening. The only other pass rusher taken in the first round was Shaq Lawson. The Shaq Lawson who is a rotational player. Was that a better bet?


The fact of the matter is that if you compare Anthony Barr to Leonard Floyd, the Floyd pick was a good pick. With that in mind, everything Miller said has to be taken with a grain of salt.

From there, the question becomes who the Chicago Bears could have taken that would have made it a good pick. The pickings were slim, and of the main options available, Floyd was the best fit and has had the best career of the group.

So, Floyd was not a home run or a great pick. He has not been a disaster, though. He is not on a new team or completely subbed out of his starting role like most other picks that night.

The fact of the matter is that the NFL draft is hard. When you want to analyze everything under the microscope and scream hot takes, you can do what Miller did. Otherwise, you can say that he struggled in week seven but has been effective overall in his role. Still, one makes headlines; the other doesn’t. Now I get it.

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