ATHENS – With a slew of head coaches and general managers on hand to watch him work, former Georgia defensive end Leonard Floyd became sick and didn’t complete his drills.
His workout was much anticipated in the scouting community because he pulled out of the NFL scouting combine in February after he suffered a hamstring injury after running the 40-yard dash.
The Falcons had 18 representatives on hand and the crowd of scouts included three general managers and head coaches Dan Quinn, Buffalo’s Rex Ryan and New England’s Bill Belichick.
“It wasn’t an injury,” Floyd said. “It was more that I ate something for breakfast, and I had a messed-up stomach. I couldn’t keep going.”
Floyd did the vertical jump and leaped 35 inches high. He participated in the circle drill, where a player runs around circular hoops and bends down to pick up a tennis ball. After that, he was finished for the day.
“There are some talented people here at positions that might be of need to certain teams in the NFL,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “That’s why you see the coverage of all of the coaches and personnel men here. There are some legit top picks here. Unfortunately, one in particular — (Floyd) — didn’t get to work out fully here, and that was unfortunate, but we know that he is very, very talented.”
Floyd is considered a first-round draft pick. Several NFL teams believe that he has some pass-rushing ability.
“He’s obviously a top-notch athlete who has the ability to get up and around the corner,” Dimitroff said. “He’s a very versatile athlete. He’s multi-faceted in his approach to this game. That’s always a positive.”
Floyd must now impress teams during private workouts. He’s set to work out for the Raiders on Monday.
“Private workouts are very helpful as well,” Dimitroff said. “That’s why we send coaches and scouts out to a lot of the Pro Days. Then we schedule our private workouts with certain players that we feel we need to get some more work in. We drill down on our own approach and our own drills.”
Floyd didn’t seem to capture the seriousness of not completing his workouts and not participating in the position drills.
“Why wouldn’t I be worthy?,” Floyd said when asked if he was worth a first-round pick. “I mean I played at Georgia. I made plays for Georgia. Why wouldn’t I be?”
Floyd weighed in at 248 pounds, four pounds more that he did at the combine. He may have eaten too much for the weigh-in.
“Most team question my weight and how much I weighed and if I can continue to gain weight,” Floyd said. “That’s the biggest question. I just show with the scale. I weigh in to keep showing them that I’m gaining weight.”
The Falcons hold the 17th pick in the draft, which is set for April 28-30. Floyd could be available when they pick.
Quinn informally interviewed Floyd on the field and enjoyed his chat with him.
“It was a pretty good conversation,” Floyd said of his talk with Quinn. “We talked about a lot of good things.”
Floyd also noted that he also spoke with Ryan.
Floyd believes that he can play defensive end for NFL teams that run a 4-3 defense and that he can play outside linebacker for 3-4 teams.
“Immediately, I can bring that edge,” Floyd said. “I can bring speed. I can bring passion for the game. I can bring a lot of things.”
NFL scouts like that Floyd played several positions at Georgia and that they moved him around.
He played inside linebacker, he played in the nickel defense, on the line and some outside linebacker. The ability to flow between so many positions showed that he has a high football IQ.
The Falcons also spent some time with linebacker Jordan Jenkins, running back Keith Marshall and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who’s also intriguing to some teams as a defensive back.
Despite the perception that the Falcons don’t draft Georgia players, Dimitroff selected former Georgia running back Thomas Brown in 2008 and former Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent in 2011.
“It gives us an opportunity to hone in on all elements and the nuances of every player,” Dimitroff said. “It helps us to have the coaches out there as well. Being this close, again, it’s always good talent at Georgia. Sometimes we may under-grade. This gives us one more opportunity to look at the players to see if in fact we missed something.”