Bears trade to No. 9 to select Leonard Floyd


The Chicago Bears couldn't wait their turn.

The Bears traded their first pick (11th overall) and a fourth-rounder to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the ninth overall selection on Thursday at the 2016 NFL Draft. With that pick, the Bears selected Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd.

Floyd gives Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio a tall, lean, lightning quick pass rusher who led Georgia in both tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5) last season. NFL Media's Mike Mayock sees Floyd beginning his pro career as a sub-package designated pass rusher. Mayock stressed that Floyd must get stronger to thrive at the next level.

A favorable comparison in terms of ability and build? Aldon Smith, who also played in sub packages as a rookie with the 49ers in 2011 and still finished his first season with 14 sacks. That would be hard to match, but Floyd has the ability to make an immediate impact due to his explosiveness off the snap.

The pick was met with a mixed reaction from the large contingent of Bears fans at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The skepticism is understandable for a player who must gain strength to match up favorably in the strong-man trenches of the NFL. This is a roll of the dice by general manager Ryan Pace.