2016 NFL Draft: 5 Best Options for San Francisco 49ers in Round 1
By Jerod Brown
Leonard Floyd- EDGE/Outside Linebacker- University of Georgia
Leonard Floyd may not be who the 49ers target with the seventh overall pick but the team should consider Floyd somewhere in the top half of the first round.
Floyd is 6’3” and only 232 pounds, giving him plenty of size to bulk up as an outside linebacker in the 49ers 3-4 defense. After losing Aldon Smith, the 49ers are in desperate need of a disruptive presence to pair opposite Aaron Lynch.
Floyd will need to put on about 15-20 pounds to suit what the 49ers will ask him to do in defending the run but he may be able to fill a similar role to what Smith did in his first year with the team.
Floyd specializes as a pass-rusher and can immediately translate that skill to the professional level. The 49ers can use Floyd as an edge defender in sub-packages while he learns the nuances of defending the run and dropping into coverage.
In his first season with the 49ers, playing primarily as a pass-rusher in sub defense, Smith registered 14 sacks. Floyd could step in and have a similar impact.
The 49ers recently drafted Eli Harold and will give him an opportunity to win the starting position opposite Lynch but Floyd should be on Baalke’s radar.
In a passing league, generating pressure on the quarterback is priority number one for a defense.
Next: Replacing Anquan Boldin