Sharrif Floyd, 2013 first-round draft pick and presumed starter and under tackle for the Minnesota Vikings gave up eating meat in order to lose weight, and has hit his target weight of 305 pounds from the 330 he weighed at earlier in the offseason.
He decided to forego meat (but not fish) on March 7th, and lost 10 pounds within a week. A few weeks later, he lost an additional 15 pounds, checking in at a svelte 305.
Hopefully Floyd never weighed in at 330 during the season as that is far above the target weight for under tackles in nearly any defense, and can even be considered heavy for 4-3 nose tackles. Linval Joseph, the presumed starter at NT, is listed at 323 pounds. Pat Williams was listed at 317 pounds, though admitted upon retirement he played closer to 340 (though he always targeted 324).
In contrast, converted under tackle (from defensive end) Kevin Williams was listed at 311 pounds with the Vikings and Geno Atkins, the star under tackle for Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati, is listed at 303 pounds. Generally speaking, the under tackle has more pass rush responsibilities, and will sacrifice some weight (and strength) in order to gain speed and explosiveness.
Said Floyd to Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson at the Vikings’ Play 60 event, “(Giving up meat was) really hard. I lived off pork. I thought pork made the world go around.
“That was just me (making the decision). Do I want to keep putting this stuff in my body or do I want to get right? So I decided to give up things that I love that are not really good for me right now. My body feels great. I’ve been telling people my body hasn’t felt this way since I first started playing football.’’
Giving up pork evidently doesn’t stop him from hunting boar, as Dan Zinski at the Viking Age points out.
Hopefully playing in the best shape of his football life will lead to on-field dividends, as he needs to bounce back from a mediocre rookie year. Floyd’s weight at the NFL Combine was 297 pounds, and he played between 295 and 305 at the University of Florida.