The following block quoted text is the full transcript from Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace's press conference.
Last night Bears GM Ryan Pace aggressively went up and get his guy, Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. Pace, through some wheeling and dealing last year, made sure he had some extra picks to play with, and he put a 4th rounder to work to move up two spots to grab Floyd.
Rumor was that the New York Giants, who picked at 10, one spot in front of the Bears, were all in for either Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin or Floyd. Once Conklin went off the board Pace knew he had to leapfrog N.Y to unsure he would be able to add the speed off the edge he coveted.
Before we get into the full transcript, here's how Floyd measured up at the combine, date pulled from Mockdraftable.com;
Height: 6' 6"
Arm Length: 33⅛"
Hand Size: 10⅛"
10 Yard Dash: 1.59
40 Yard Dash: 4.60
Vertical Jump: 39½"
Broad Jump: 127"
3 Cone Drill: 7.18*
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.32*
Agility Score: 11.50
* Measurement from source other than NFL Combine (likely Pro Day)
And here's their spider graph to show how Floyd measures up with the other OLBs in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Now on to the transcript.
Here's Pace's opening statement on Leonard Floyd.
"We've said all along that we wanted to improve the athleticism and speed on our defense and we've definitely done that with Leonard Floyd. This guy lines up all over the field for Georgia and we see him as an outside linebacker in our defense. [Floyd] brings a great athleticism for a guy that tall and with that kind of length and will bring some juice to our defense that we need and will help our pass rush."
On the Bears trading up in the first round.
"We had a pretty strong feeling [Floyd] could go somewhere in that area and we were concerned he would go a couple picks ahead of us. There was a guy we identified with and a guy we wanted, so let's not sit on our hands. Like I said before the luxury of having some extra picks gives us the ammunition to do those kinds of things. There was a consensus on this player that all the scouts and all the coaches had this guy graded similar, so for me that kind of makes it an easier decision. In addition, it fills a major need on our defense, so it we were excited about [this pick] and wanted to be aggressive about it."
A lot has been talked about in regards to Floyd's playing weight at Georgia (225lbs-ish), and how he needs to get a little bigger and stronger as a pro. Here's pace on Floyd adding weight over the offseason.
"We spent a lot of time with [Floyd] and brought him in on a visit and we do a lot of body analyses. [Head Coach] John [Fox] always says this ‘we can always get them stronger and bigger, but we can't get them faster and more athletic,' and he's definitely fast and athletic, which he will add."
Floyd only had 17 sacks in 3 seasons at Georgia, here's Pace on the hopes of Floyd being able to put up high sack numbers in the NFL.
"When you watch [Floyd] on tape [Georgia] moves him all over. [Floyd] is such a versatile athlete, so he's playing inside linebacker one snap and then the next snap it is like he is playing nickel and running up the field with a slot receiver. I think with him playing more of a pass rush position, he'll have more production."
On Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio being able to develop Floyd.
"It's huge. Vic [Fangio] likes this guy a lot as does [outside linebackers coach] Clint Hurtt, so both those guys are excellent coaches. So, it just gives me a lot of confidence when we bring a guy like this into the building for them to further develop the player. In addition, this player has the right kind of attitude and mindset for that. [Floyd] is hungry, high energy and plays with a lot of enthusiasm and passion, so that all comes together for a lot of growth."
This morning on 670 The Score, the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs said a scout told him that he thought the Georgia coaches had no clue how to use Floyd. The scout said that with a talent like Floyd, you line him up on the edge and have him attack quarterbacks.
On Floyd playing in the point of attack versus the run.
"It's, again, to play with that great separation. So he doesn't get wired in blocks because he's able to separate and guys can't get in to him. [Floyd] is able to shed because of his length."
On Floyd playing in pass rush situations.
"[Floyd] will be an outside linebacker in base and then in sub we can move these guys all around. You know when you watch the film on [Floyd], he's not just rushing from the outside linebacker position, he's floating through the defense and shooting through an interior gap with great burst. So, I don't think you can have enough pass rushers in today's game and I think if you look at the playoffs this past year it showed that. You need to load up on pass rushers and that is what we are doing."
One of the things that Floyd excelled at in college was coverage. Here's Pace on Floyd running with receivers and tight ends.
"It's hard to find outside linebackers that can rush the passer but also have the versatility to drop into coverage and [Floyd] can do that. What's rare is when a guy is that tall and long and he's running down the field changing direction like that, you don't see that very often, so that's very attractive."
On leaning on head coach John Fox after coaching the likes of Von Miller and Julius Peppers.
"[Coach Fox] has been pounding the table to add these types of guys for a while now. So we would talk a lot during the season saying that ‘hey we need to get off the field on third down and we need guys to help us in that area'. This is the type of player that can help that, so again add a major pass rush threat to our defense."
On Floyd not finishing either of his Pro Day and Combine workouts.
"We spent a ton of time with him. We were at those workouts, interviewed [Floyd] at the combine, we brought him here and we had a lot of coaches who have background with him. At his Pro Day he had a stomach virus, but I'm telling you, when you see this guy on tape, some guys, these workouts are important so you can see their speed and change of direction in their hips, but some guys, the athleticism is so evident on tape."
Some scouts knock Floyd's functional strength, but the Bears aren't worried. Here's Pace on concern on whether Floyd didn't do a bench workout at either the pro day or combine.
"No because you see [his strength] on tape. You don't see guys getting into him. Guys that I feel struggle against the run, they let offensive linemen get into their chests and get engulfed in by these blocks and [Floyd] doesn't do that. He has such great separation that I think it prevents him from doing that."
On if there was one game that stood out to him and the coaching staff.
"There wasn't one specific game. A guy this high in the draft, we have watched all the games in his whole collegiate career. It was about all of us coming together with a vision for the player, the coaches and scouts feeling the same way about it and a lot of confidence about this player going forward."
On the Aldon Smith comparison.
"Aldon Smith is a rare player. I mean that would be a great thing if this guy becomes that type of talent."
The Bears moved up two spots and the cost was the 106th pick in the draft. Here'a Pace on the workings of the trade.
"Throughout the last 48 hours, we were talking the whole time. [Tampa Bay general manager] Jason [Licht] and I are close over the years, so it is easy for me and him to communicate. So we are just talking to teams up and down the draft. We're waiting until they were on the clock and it worked out for both parties. Having two fourth round picks for us this year was valuable for us to do something like this and ensured getting the player we wanted."
On Leonard Floyd's character.
"He's from a really small town in Georgia. When you talk with him, he is such a genuine guy and football is really important to his life. You know, there were times at Georgia, there were times where he would sit in three different meeting rooms, which tells you about his intelligence because he was playing in so many roles. He has a natural charisma about him kind of like Kevin White has that same kind of charisma when you walk in to a room, Leonard has that too."
The questions circled back around to Floyd adding weight. Here's Pace on that subject.
"Probably around the 240s. But you have to do it the right way because the last thing we want to do is bulk this guy up and all of sudden take away at what this guy does best. You know you see guys put on too much weight too fast and they look stiff or they lose some of that twitch that makes them a special player. So we have to do it the right way and you talk a about confidence in our coaches, a lot of confidence in our strength and conditioning coaches, our sports science director Jenn Gibson to get Leonard to that optimal playing weight to maximize his talents."
Besides rushing off the edge, Floyd played OLB, ILB, and he covered tight ends and slot receivers. Here's Pace on Floyd playing multiple ways at Georgia.
"You watch a lot of tape and you see him come off the edge and you see him beat people with his outside speed and bend the corner. He's got a great inside spin move that is difficult to defend and then again you see him playing the run. You see all those things and the guy rarely comes off the field. You watch a lot of these college guys getting subbed in and out at critical moments in the game and that is a kind of a concern. This guy never comes off the field and he plays many positions and has great stamina."
On whether Floyd will be a situational player.
"We have a lot to play out and I like that we are loading up on pass rushers. I like all of our guys at that position and I don't think you can enough of those guys because you can use them in a variety of ways."
These days the nickle package is on the field over half the snaps anyway.
On if arm length is important in today's NFL.
"It's important for every single position. We used to talk about arm length just for offensive linemen or defensive linemen. I think arm length is important for all positions. We were talking about it the other day with tight ends and we try to track these traits to successful players in the NFL and try to narrow it down. We collect so much data, so guys, lets simplify this down to what are the most important traits and arm length, we find, is important for almost every position."
On Floyd's age.
"We talked about that, but no concern there."
Floyd will be 24 in September. I seem to remember the Bears having some success with another older rookie, Kyle Long.
On Floyd being from a power conference school.
"It's good to see [Floyd] in the SEC and all these big conferences against major competition. You can see what it is like to play against NFL like talent, but I've been a part of a team in the past that had success with small school players. So, it doesn't scare me away, but there is a little reassurance seeing him playing at that high level. But we drafted Jahri Evans from Bloomsburg and he became one of the better guards in the league and [Marques] Colston from Hofstra. I think there are examples, but you have to look at it by a case-by-case basis."
What are your thoughts on the press conference?