With three first round picks already in the fold, and another two days of the Draft left to play out, I am dusting of the ol’ “Welcome To The Big Show” feature which will detail each of our selections.
SHARRIF FLOYD, DT, FLORIDA
Floyd possesses a great mix of size and athleticism which will help him continue to be a versatile player as his career moves to the next level. He possesses a nice arsenal of pass rush moves and a very quick first step that could help the Vikings move the pocket against opposing offenses.
Weight: 297 pounds
Arm Length: 31 3/4″
Hand Size: 10 1/8″
Forty: 4.92 seconds
Vertical Jump: 30″
Broad Jump: 106″
3-Cone: 7.40 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.75 seconds
Pro Day Results
Floyd reportedly “tweaked” his ankle at the NFL’s Scouting Combine and he did not participate in Florida’s March 12th Pro Day. Ten days later he drew representatives from 14 NFL teams to a rescheduled workout where he put on an impressive display. Floyd chose to stand on his Combine numbers in regards to the timed drills, but he impressed onlookers by going through drill after drill with a certain tenaciousness.
“I wasn’t going to stop until he told me to stop,” Floyd said of the position drills. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘I’m done.’”
Floyd’s pro day was one of many positive steps in his pre-Draft regimen that had analysts believing he was a top-five prospect.
Floyd growing up in a tough neighborhood is nothing new to the world of NFL prospect profiles. Floyd, however, lived amidst some very unique circumstances in Philadelphia. When Floyd was three years old his father was murdered, but Floyd was too young to understand what was going on, and was allowed to forget about his real father.
Instead, he was led to believe that another man was his father. This other man, when he wasn’t in jail, abused Floyd with harsh rules and heavy punishments. His mother struggled with drug addiction and Floyd often took solace in time alone where he was allowed to think, contemplate, and plan a future outside of his current circumstances.
“It was just me, you know?” Floyd said. “And it was great. I mean, I had a lot of time to think to myself. No one really asked how I felt about anything or how I was doing about anything. But if I could change anything in my life, honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
It wasn’t until he was 15 years old that he found out the truth about who his real father was, and he promptly moved out of the house that had been where he had spent so many lonely hours. He then began what would become a prolific football career, as well as a huge momentum change in his life, and surrounded himself with a great supporting cast.
Floyd has gone out of his way to try and reciprocate the generosity others have shown him throughout his life, most visibly proven by the full page ad he took out in a local newspaper to thank all that had supported him over the years, which was printed after he announced his decision to forego his senior season. The gesture was needed as it was his school that had held a bake sale in an effort to raise enough money to send him to the All-American Bowl and another part gave him the money needed to visit the campuses of schools that were recruiting him.
The NCAA took away two games from Floyd following an investigation of “impermissible benefits” but the people around Floyd, and Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, insist that Floyd is in no way deserving of a “character concern” type of label.
At Florida, Floyd was moved around from position to position and some believe that led to low production and a lack of growth. Leading up to April the “experts” and draftniks throughout the media seemed sold on Floyd’s ability to produce at the next level despite these worries. The lack of production, however, could very likely be a reason for his Draft Day slide.
The first thing you always read about regarding Floyd are his athletic skills and intimidating measureables. He is quick and has a nice burst off the snap. His swim move is effective, as is his punch, but he is also capable of simply being stronger than his opponent and pushing the pocket back with brute force. He is versatile enough to line up anywhere from nose tackle to a standing position at the edge of the line. He also shows good instincts in the run game with the discipline to set the edge, while also consistently shedding a block into the correct gap.
There has been some questions about his stamina, which may have been why he was so willing to keep pressing on during his pro day workout, and some are worried that he will wear down easily over the course of a full NFL game. Like many tall guys, he can get caught playing too high and with poor balance, which has been a problem against smarter offensive linemen and double teams.
Outside Scouting Reports:
Based on his statistics, and perhaps even his game tape, Floyd may not carry a first round grade for a number of NFL franchises. The allure of Floyd, however, is that the circumstances that lead to his imperfections are completely correctable and the sky is the limit for him as he benefits from some NFL coaching.
“Those idiots on TV made Floyd,” one scout said prior to the Draft. “He’s not that good. He’s not better than Ziggy Hood. Floyd’s not a real bulky guy but he can run.”
These reasons were most likely the cause of his Draft Day fall to #23, when many had him pegged as a target for the Raiders at #3, but the Vikings were elated to see him fall into their laps.
“I don’t think anyone expected him to be down there (at 23),” Rick Spielman said. “What he brings to us from a defensive standpoint, as far as not only his ability to play the run, but his ability to get up field and rush the passer and just the natural athletic skills this player has and what you’ve seen on tape. … When we meet with our coaches and we meet with our scouts and we go through the film and we read our reports, this is everything that we’re looking for to identify a defensive tackle that fits well with our scheme.”
The Vikings are in the process of preparing for life without Kevin Williams, and have been unable to fully replace Pat Williams for a couple of years now, so the addition of Floyd makes plenty of sense. At one point, the Vikings supposedly debated the possibility of trading up to select Floyd as he continued to slide, but their patience paid off and now they will work to prepare him for a large defensive responsibility.
I have always been a huge fan of selecting the best player available. Floyd was the BPA on our VT Big Board at the time, ranked as our eighth best player, while I personally had him tabbed as the eighth best player, as well. The Vikings have said Floyd was their top player available.
The fact that he was the best available selection, combined with the notion that defensive tackle was one of this roster’s top needs, means this was a perfect match for the Vikings. As Leslie Frazier said after the Thursday’s events, it was a “no-brainer.”