Former Patriots star Willie McGinest is predicting that Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd will have a special 2019 season.
“With a healthy offseason to work on technique and the addition of Chuck Pagano as defensive coordinator, Floyd is poised for a breakout campaign in his fourth pro season,” McGinest wrote on NFL.com.
Floyd was named a Pro Bowl alternate last year, when he recorded 49 tackles, four sacks, one interception and nine tackles-for-loss while starting all 16 games.
After recovering from a hand injury that limited him early in the season, Floyd began performing like the player the Bears envisioned when they traded up to select him with the ninth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Georgia product returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown Nov. 4 against the Bills, the first pick and TD of his career. The 6-4, 251-pounder recorded three sacks in a three-game stretch late in the season, including two of Aaron Rodgers in a 24-17 division-clinching win over the Packers Dec. 18 at Soldier Field.
McGinest, who played 15 NFL seasons as a defensive end/outside linebacker with the Patriots (1994-2005) and Browns (2006-08), selected Floyd as one of four players primed to have a breakout season. The others are Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen, Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport and Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver.