The Chicago Bears were originally expected to pick at the 11th overall player in the NFL Draft. They traded up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to acquire the 9th overall pick and selected OLB Leonard Floyd from Georgia. In addition to trading the 11th overall pick, the Bears also traded their 4th round pick (106th overall) this year to the Buccaneers to move up from 11 to 9th overall.
This is an interesting pick as the Bears have signed two linebackers this off-season with Jerell Freeman and Danny Trevathian. Now they take another linebacker with Leonard Floyd in the top 10 of this draft. He has terrific size at 6'6" and 244 lbs. along with being highly athletic and having highly effective pass rush skills. The Bears have now made four significant additions to their defense with Trevathian, Floyd, Freeman, and Akiem Ayers.
Floyd can play in both a 4-3 defense and in a 3-4 defense (which is what the Bears run). He can play SAM linebacker on run downs and have the ability to play on the edge and rush the line on passing downs. He fits well in this Bears defense with the multiple additions they have made and could make an instant day one impact in both the run and pass defense game. Vic Fangio is not afraid to allow players to "let loose" and be attack-heavy, which could be exactly what Floyd is. Scheme wise, this is a solid pick.
In terms of the reception from Bears fans over at our sister site, Windy City Gridiron, the fans are not 100% on board with this pick, perhaps with the fact that the team traded up. Also, it could be that the fans saw Shaq Lawson and Laremy Tunsil on the board. Overall, it looks like a very good scheme fit with a position they did need some help at.
It's clear that the Bears know (and are taking action about the fact) that their defense needed work and they have now made some significant additions to upgrade their defense. At the cost of only a fourth round pick, this is not a bad trade for the Bears and it's proving to be another potentially savvy move for the Bears and general manager Ryan Pace.