Could improve his run defense for when teams run straight at him
Summary: Floyd has been one of the fastest rising prospects since the end of the college football season. When he announced for the 2013 NFL Draft, many viewed him as a prospect for the latter portion of the first round. Floyd's draft stock has been climbing steadily since then to the point where he could now go in the top five.
Floyd had a rough upbringing as a kid growing up in Philadelphia with a lot of abuse coming from a man who turned out not to be his father. Floyd eventually learned the truth and lived with others. He was one of the top recruits in the nation coming out of high school.
After landing with the Gators, Floyd saw the field some as a reserve in his freshman season. Florida switched to a hybrid 3-4, 4-3 defense in 2011, resulting in him playing a lot of defensive end. Floyd did well as a five-technique. He totaled 46 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one blocked kick and one pass broken up.
The Gators moved Floyd back to defensive tackle in 2012 with great results. The junior was a wrecking ball at the point of attack. He played well against Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU. Floyd seemed to become more dominant with each passing contest during the second half of the season. He played a great game to help lead the Gators to a road win over Florida State. Floyd closed out his collegiate career by overwhelming Louisville.
Floyd recorded 46 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and three sacks in 2012. He had a much bigger impact than the numbers indicate.
Floyd had a great Combine workout. He ran the 40 in a stunning 4.87 seconds unofficially with a 10-yard split of 1.68 seconds. Floyd was also phenomenal in the field drills with quick feet and good movement skills. It was obvious that he has amazing athleticism for an interior defensive linemen.
Floyd is extremely fast at the point of attack. He fires his gap and quickly gets penetration into the backfield. Once Floyd gains leverage, he is tough to stop since he has the strength to shed blocks and maintain his balance with blockers pushing on him. Floyd consistently blows up runs in the backfield and gets a lot of pressure on the quarterback. It wouldn't be surprising if his sack numbers increase dramatically in the NFL.
At the next level, Floyd could play end in a 3-4 defense. His best fit would come as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 system. Floyd's ability to pressure the quarterback could set up a lot of sacks for the edge-rushers. Play-making defensive tackles are a tough commodity to find and Floyd is a rare athlete with speed and agility. He has the potential to be a high-impact player and future pro bowler.
Player Comparison: Geno Atkins. Since being a fourth-round pick by the Bengals in the 2010 NFL Draft, Atkins has become one of the best defensive players in the NFL. The 6-foot-1, 300-pounder is a phenomenal interior pass-rusher who is extremely disruptive at the point of attack.
In terms of style of play, Floyd is very similar to Atkins in teh ability to fire his gap and penetrate the backfield. They are also of similar height and the same weight. That stature lends itselfto some natural pad level.
Floyd will be selected a lot higher than Atkins was, but if Floyd pans out in the NFL, he could be a tackle who has a style of play similar to Atkins.
Floyd is projected to go early in the first round, so there are only a few teams that are potential landing spots. The Jaguars would make a lot of sense. They need a difference-maker at defensive tackle. Gus Bradley wants to build his defense on speed, and his scheme uses a three-technique defensive tackle. Floyd seems like a good fit for Jacksonville.
The Raiders also are in dire need of a young defensive tackle. Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour aren't long-term players and could both leave Oakland this offseason. Floyd would make a lot of sense for Dennis Allen with the third pick.
The Eagles pick fourth and could consider the defensive line. After releasing Cullen Jenkins, they could use a five-technique tackle to pair with Fletcher Cox. Floyd has played that position at Florida and could do so in the NFL.
If Floyd falls out of the top 10, it is hard seeing him getting past the Dolphins. Miami could lose Randy Starks in free agency and Floyd would be a good replacement.
NFL Draft Rumors
Feb. 25: Sharrif Floyd is viewed as a high first-round prospect, according to Mike Mayock.