Falcons bring 16 staffers to see Leonard Floyd, Georgia prospects

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons had a combination of 16 coaches and front office staff members Wednesday at the University of Georgia to check out first-round linebacker prospect Leonard Floyd and his teammates at pro day.

Head coach Dan Quinn watched the action alongside general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli. Defensive line coach Bryan Cox helped with drills, while linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich stood next to Quinn observing Floyd.

Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and special teams assistant Eric Sutulovich conducted drills with kickers Marshall Morgan and Patrick Beless near the end of the session, while running backs coach Bobby Turner had an extended conversation with fullback Quayvon Hicks.

The others Falcons coaches in attendance included defensive assistants Marquand Manuel, Jerome Henderson, Chad Walker and Doug Mallory, along with assistant offensive line coach Keith Carter and special teams intern Lance Schulters.

Director of college scouting Steve Sabo and scout Anthony Robinson also attended the session.

Having such a large contingent at the pro day appeared to symbolize a change in philosophy for the Falcons, who made changes their pro personnel and college scouting departments this offseason. However, Dimitroff sounded as if such was normal procedure.

The Falcons didn't have a big group at Georgia's pro day last year.

"I think it was unfortunate last year; we had some timing issues," Dimitroff said. "We happened to be on the road at another private workout that we were doing, and it presented itself that we were there. So we, obvious, didn't have the same coverage.

"We do believe, there's no question, that we need to cover the local teams very, very well because that's important to us. It's a philosophy about making sure that you tap in into the Georgia talent."

The 6-6, 248-pound Floyd, a inside-outside linebacker/pass-rusher who played all over the field at Georgia, has been projected to go to the Falcons at No. 17 in some mock drafts. Floyd did not complete all the testing Wednesday after coming down with a stomach illness, but he has the length the Falcons desire.

"Obviously, he's a top-notch athlete who has the ability to get up and around the corner, and he's a very versatile athlete," Dimitroff said. "He's multi-facet in his approach to this game, and that's always a positive."

Floyd posted a 35-inch vertical during the workout. A New York Jets representative took Floyd away for an extended conversation immediately after the pro day workout. Floyd said he has a private workout scheduled Monday with the Oakland Raiders a dinner scheduled March 25 with Indianapolis Colts.

"I feel like I rush the best," Floyd said of his talent. "Whether it's rushing against the tackle or either rushing against a running back, I feel like I pass-rush the best."

Another Georgia linebacker, Jordan Jenkins, said he has private workouts upcoming with the Raiders, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. Jenkins ran the 40 in 4.76 seconds Wednesday and had a 38-inch vertical, according to the numbers compiled by the school.

The Falcons sorely need to improve their pass-rush after finishing last in the league with 19 sacks last season. They also need linebackers capable of getting out in coverage.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan also attended the pro day.