Leonard Floyd barely makes PFF’s top 32 edge rushers in the NFL

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Leonard Floyd struggled to live up to his first-round pedigree with the Chicago Bears. His sack numbers decreased each year he was in Chicago, totaling just 18.5 in four seasons.

That all changed in 2020 when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent, teaming up with the great Aaron Donald. Floyd broke out with 10.5 sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, 19 QB hits and 55 total tackles, all of which were career-highs for the former Georgia Bulldog.

Additionally, he was one of just six players in the NFL last season with at least 10 sacks, 11 tackles for a loss and 19 QB hits. Donald, T.J. Watt, Za’Darius Smith, Trey Hendrickson and Leonard Williams were the others.

Yet, Pro Football Focus still doesn’t view Floyd very highly, in part because he benefited from the “Aaron Donald Effect” by getting a lot of one-on-one opportunities while No. 99 was getting doubled. PFF ranked the top 32 edge rushers in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season and Floyd was No. 28.

Like Dupree, Floyd is another player who took advantage of an advantageous pass-rushing environment in 2020. In Floyd’s case, that advantage stemmed almost entirely from having Aaron Donald and the attention he draws on the field alongside him.

Floyd’s 69.5 PFF grade in 2020 was almost identical to the 69.6 grades he recorded in 2018 and 2019 with Chicago. However, his 55 pressures last season marked the first time in his career clearing 40. Floyd’s 10.5 sacks last season were also a career high. There’s little reason to expect he won’t put up impressive numbers again in 2021.

Floyd earned himself a lucrative new contract this offseason as a result of his terrific 2020 campaign, signing a four-year, $64 million extension with the Rams. He’ll have plenty of time to prove he wasn’t a one-year wonder in L.A. and will continue benefiting from Donald playing on the same defense.

Floyd was a quality pass rusher for the Rams last year but he was also an outstanding run defender – an aspect of his game that doesn’t always get much attention. He’s a well-rounded edge player capable of impacting the game in multiple ways.