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New Sharrif In Town: Vikings Select Florida DT 23rd Overall

Posted Apr 25, 2013

PHOTO GALLERY: Sharrif Floyd Arrives at Winter Park >>
VIDEO: Combine Workout: Sharrif Floyd >>
VIDEO: Sharrif Floyd Pro Comparison >>
VIDEO: One-On-One with Sharrif Floyd >>
VIDEO: Intro Presser - "A Long Wait But Well Worth It" >>
VIDEO: Sharrif Floyd Highlights and Draft Profile >>
VIDEO: First Draft: Sharrif Floyd >>
VIDEO: Vikings Pick Sharrif Floyd No. 23 Overall >>
VIDEO: Shariff Floyd Reacts To Becoming A Viking >>
PHOTO GALLERY: New Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd >>

OVERVIEW
Floyd was a big-time high school recruit from Philadelphia, winning the 2009 Maxwell Football Club National High School Player of the Year and excelling in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (two sacks). Like many other young players, Floyd struggled with a rough childhood (bouncing between multiple homes), before settling in Gainesville. In fact, Floyd?s school held a bake sale to help him pay for the trip to the All-American Bowl, and he also received additional funds from a third party to visit campuses during the recruiting process.

The NCAA investigated those "impermissible benefits" and docked Floyd the first two games of the his sophomore season (reducing the suspension from four games due to ?personal hardship?). He started the next 11 games at defensive end in head coach Will Muschamp?s 3-4 defense(46 totals tackles, 6.5 for loss), culminating with a 1.5-sack performance in the team?s 24-17 victory over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. Floyd had already showed promise as a member of the coaches' Freshman All-SEC squad in 2010, playing in all 13 games with one of his two starts coming against Penn State in the Gators? Outback Bowl win (he had two tackles, a tackle for loss).

Floyd's statistics are by no means elite (26 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks in two years), but his ability to be a factor playing every position along the defensive line is a testament to his hustle and athleticism for his size. His final season saw him earn third-team All-America honors as he helped anchor a Gator defense that was amongst the best in the entire nation.

STRENGTHS Athletic three/five-technique prospect with solid overall strength. Possesses a quick and long first step when in pass rush mode, can swim over his opponent or get his hands up into his man?s jersey to push him into the backfield. Often lined up outside the tackle (even standing up) despite his size, showed quickness to rush the passer and quick feet to contain on the edge. Combines good effort and short-area agility for his size to chase plays across the field and get his long arms around ball carriers when closing in. Experience as a two-gapper, keeps his eyes in the backfield and sheds to either direction to grab running backs coming his direction. Flashes violent hands to swipe away blockers on his way to the ball carrier. Great balance and flexibility, and shows good change of direction ability and showing some ability to bend on the edge. Excellent at shooting gaps and reducing his surface area while working through trash inside. Splits double-teams in pass protection well with quickness.

WEAKNESSES Has long legs and plays with high pad level, at times causing him problems when trying to anchor. Lacks the elite closing speed to make a lot of plays outside the box. Will stop after initial contact, must prove he has the stamina to make an impact in significant minutes against NFL competition. Tendency to stop his feet on contact. While he has experience two-gapping, he still needs a lot of technique work in that area; he has a tendency to turn his body, especially against double teams, causing him to get washed out or moved upfield. Suffered a torn ACL in high school. Changing positions may have stunted his growth in college, as he has never been allowed to focus on one particular skill set.

BOTTOM LINE A rough childhood did not prevent Floyd from earning national accolades for his play in high school, as he won the 2009 Maxwell Football Club's National Player of the Year award. And by the end of his sophomore year at Florida (he racked up 1.5 sacks against Ohio State in the team's Gator Bowl win), Floyd began showing scouts the athleticism, strength, and motor they require in a top tackle prospect. He has been an incredibly important and versatile defender up front for Florida, playing both one and two-gap techniques at defensive end, one and three-technique, and as a true zero-technique nose tackle. While Floyd is rough around the edges and will take time to develop as a two-gapper, the Gator's quickness, athleticism, and scheme versatility will make him coveted by 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike in the first round.

Bio from NFL.com

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