The LA Rams needed depth at the outside linebacker position when they extended their inquiry to the Denver Broncos over the availability of veteran OLB Von Miller. At the time, Von Miller was struggling to recover to his heyday form, and the Denver Broncos were sitting on young talented players. To everyone’s surprise, the Broncos entertained the idea of trading Miller, and the rest was history.
But the critical part of that story that seems to have been lost in the translation is just how productive OLB Leonard Floyd had been up to the point of adding Miller. In truth, Floyd had registered 10.5 quarterback sacks and 55 tackles in 2020, both of which were career highs for the five-year NFL veteran.
But 2021 was something special for Floyd. In fact, he was very productive in the first nine games of the season, the Pre-Miller games, Floyd had registered 7.5 quarterback sacks, and had recorded 40 tackles. At that rate, he was on pace for 14 quarterback sacks and 76 tackles. Both stats would have dwarfed anything he had done in his career prior to 2021.
When Miller arrived, it was simply easier for the defense to manage his arrival by placing him into a primary pass-rushing role. To offset his primary role as pass-rusher in a 3-4 defensive front, that forced Floyd into a pass coverage role, one that he is equally equipped to handle more than competently.