Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators' Sharrif Floyd moves up NFL draft lists

Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is projected to be a Top 5 pick by several top analysts in Thursday night's draft.

AP photo

Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is projected to be a Top 5 pick by several top analysts in Thursday night's draft.

GAINESVILLE — When former Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd decided to forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft, no one questioned whether he had made the correct decision.

After a stellar junior season in which he was an integral part of a Gators' defense that ranked fifth nationally in scoring and total defense, Floyd was considered a solid draft pick. But since January, his status has skyrocketed.

Floyd is projected to be a Top 5 pick by several top analysts in Thursday night's draft. His rapid ascension comes as no surprise to Florida coach Will Muschamp. Talent, Muschamp said, is hard to hide.

"Turn on the tape," Muschamp said. "I mean, the guy can anchor, he can play the run, he's got great initial quickness, he can rush the passer. He's everything you want for an inside player. The NFL teams, they don't like to project — I've been there, I know. They want to see guys that play in 3-4 and 4-3. So they've seen him play 2-gap, they've seen him play nose, they've seen him play 4-technique, they've seen him play 1-gap, 3-technique, 5-technique, 9-technique. They've seen him play outside, they've seen him play inside. So from a general manager's perspective, talking to his owner and talking about spending money on a player, a clean player that's got no issues off the field, you know that's a very smart pick in my opinion. Because you've got a guy that can be a very dominating player that's got so many positive things surrounding him and he's been exposed positionally to so many different things within our scheme."

Floyd played in 37 games with 26 starts at Florida, recording 115 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two blocked field goals and a forced fumble. This past season, he led the Gators with 13 tackles for loss and was fifth with 46 tackles. In his final collegiate game, the Sugar Bowl, Floyd had five tackles, including two for a loss of 12 yards.

While he did not work out at the Gators' Pro Day, his NFL combine and individual team workouts have helped boost his draft status.

"What I love about the kid is he's a prototypical three technique which is the defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense," said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who has Floyd at No. 2 on his board behind Eric Fisher. "His quickness and ability to get off the field and disrupt the pass game is unique for a defensive tackle, and if you can get a defensive tackle that can affect the pass game, you've got something special. And he's also stout enough to play the run, so I have him No. 2 on my board. I love the kid."

Floyd's versatility is what has elevated his status. ESPN.com's Mel Kiper has him going at No. 3 to the Oakland Raiders in his latest mock draft. At 6 feet 3 and 303 pounds, Floyd has the size to play over the nose tackle, but also possesses the speed to rush the passer and get into the backfield quickly. As a sophomore, he played defensive end for the Gators, then excelled at defensive tackle this past season. He's also experienced at playing both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses — and willing to go wherever a team needs him most.

"I think I'm good in both defenses," Floyd said. "I believe I can offer a team more in the 4-3, but I wouldn't mind playing both. I'll take the defense for what it is."

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Gators' Sharrif Floyd moves up NFL draft lists 04/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  2. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blogs

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.
  3. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility

    Bucs

    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  4. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal

    Blogs

    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.
  5. John Calipari: Kevin Knox makes you shake your head and say 'Wow'

    Blogs

    Even though former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox left the USA Basketball U19 tryouts due to a hamstring injury, he still made quite an impression on coach John Calipari.