The Bears Do The Unthinkable In Round One

usa-today-8813430.0The Chicago Bears came into Thursday night’s festivities with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Sights were set on Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, Ohio State product Ezekiel Elliott or even an additional arm. It’s crazy how fast things can change.

Before they were on the clock, the Bears traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up to ninth in the draft. It has been 20 years since Chicago has traded up in the first round. And general manager Ryan Pace took a risk, giving up a fourth round selection to select Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd- a make-it or break-it type player.

Floyd was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. He recorded 184 tackles, 17 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss in 32 starts. The 23-year-old made a name for himself, as he led the team in sacks each year and earned Georgia’s defensive MVP honor his sophomore season in 2014.

Pace and Coach John Fox were extremely pleased with the team’s bold selection.

While some pundits say there were a lot better players to choose from, the duo is convinced they did no wrong. Why? Because of Floyd’s impressive speed.

Example:

The 6-6, 244 pounder’s athleticism is impressive. Not to mention, he put on a show at the combine after running a 4.6 40-yard dash. The Bears’ defense has lacked speed and agility in the past; they have finally found a guy to change the tide.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Floyd is incredibly slim for a pass rusher, perhaps almost too slim for the NFL. The man needs to bulk up and gain some muscle, as he will be competing against the variety of beefy offensive lineman the league has to offer.

Still, he has quite an appealing resume and a nice set of attributes to bring to the table. Floyd will complement a Bears’ defense that has totally revamped this offseason. This defense arguably looks the best it has ever been since the Urlacher days.

For what has been an offseason full of risks, it’s only fitting that Chicago is back at it again- this time with the NFL Draft. The Monsters of the Midway seem to be on the right track.