Bears Draft Spotlight: WR Michael Floyd

WR Michael Floyd (Matt Cashore/USP)

Most analysts feel that Michael Floyd is the odds on favorite for the Bears to select in the first round of this year's NFL draft. We break down his game to see how he might fit in Chicago.

In roughly half the mock drafts one can find on the Internet, former Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd is the pick for the Chicago Bears at 19 overall. Most believe that, because Chicago is severely lacking in talent at the wideout spot, that the big-bodied flanker is no brainer for the Bears.

Floyd's biggest asset is his size (6-3, 224). His height and solid frame fit the mold of what NFL teams expect from a potential No. 1 receiver. He was a four-year starter for the Fighting Irish. He holds five career school records, including receptions (266), receiving yards (3,645), touchdown receptions (36), receiving yards per game (86.8) and 100-yard games (17). His 174 receptions the past two years are the most by any Notre Dame player in consecutive seasons.

In his senior year, Floyd racked up 95 catches – another school record – for 1,106 yards and 8 TDs. He scored seven or more touchdowns in each of his four collegiate seasons.


WR Michael Floyd
Kyle Terada/US Presswire

Floyd has arguably the best hands in the incoming draft class. He shows great concentration, looking balls into his big mitts. He can run any route on the route tree and does a good job using his big body to shield defenders. On deep balls, Floyd is extremely adept at tracking and high-pointing the ball. Jump ball situations are when he's most effective, as he has great body control when he leaves his feet.

He runs solid routes and makes hard, clean cuts. His tendency to round off his cuts needs some work but he should develop into a fine route runner at the next level. Floyd shows good, but not great speed.

In college, the vast majority of opposing defenses chose to give him at least a seven-yard cushion on nearly every play. On the rare occasions where he was pressed at the line, he showed decent footwork and active hands working around the jam. That said, aggressive corners at the next level could give him trouble. The jury is still out on that aspect of his game.

As a blocker, Floyd is outstanding. He's very willing and aggressive going after defenders, and shows great patience and awareness downfield. He sinks his hips well and drives corners and safeties once engaged.

Floyd lacks ideal acceleration, which could be troublesome at the next level. If he's unable to create separation from defenders coming out of his breaks, he'll struggle in the NFL. Most of his catches in college came while in traffic, which is a testament to his toughness and concentration, but in the pros, those catches will be twice as hard to make. He's also lacks ideal agility, looking stiff at times. And for a big guy, he's too easily brought down after the catch.

He's not without his faults but Floyd has all the physical tools to be a top-notch receiver in the pros. Character-wise though, there is plenty to worry about. He was cited three times during his collegiate career for alcohol-related offenses. Before his senior season, he was arrested for drunk driving and suspended briefly from the team, while also being stripped of his team captain status.

By all accounts, Floyd has cleaned up his act and matured considerably after his third offense. Yet so many run-ins with the law are huge red flags for NFL teams.

Floyd didn't play in the Senior Bowl due to a back injury but it appears he'll be fully healthy for the scouting combine next week. His measurables, particularly his 40-yard dash and shuttle times, will play a big part in whether or not he falls to the Bears in the first round. With his size, a 40 time in the low-4.5 range could propel him into the top 10.

If he does fall to Chicago at 19, it's hard to imagine new GM Phil Emery passing up a player with the size and potential similar to that of Dwayne Bowe, whom Emery watched up close while working for the Kansas City Chiefs. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had his best seasons in Denver throwing to Brandon Marshall, a player of comparable stature to Floyd. It might take a while, but if Floyd and Cutler could develop chemistry, the combination could be deadly.

Follow me on Twitter: @BearReport


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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