NFL Draft Profile: Florida DT Sharrif Floyd

This is the sixth in a series. Click the link for profiles on Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher, Alabama’s Dee Milliner, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel and Oregon’s Dion Jordan. Between now and April’s draft, we’ll profile as many prospects as possible.

THE RESUME

Sharrif Floyd says he was 14-years-old when he watched his first NFL game – the Colts’ Super Bowl win over the Bears in 2007.

“It wasn’t that there was no interest, I just didn’t know nothing about it, so there was no reason to watch it,” Floyd said at the Combine.

Floyd (6-3, 297) grew up in Philadelphia and attended George Washington High School. But he did not have a typical childhood, as chronicled well by NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington:

Not until he was 15 years old — between his sophomore and junior years of high school — did he learn the truth: The man who’d scared Floyd through years of harsh rules and harsher punishments was not actually his dad. His mother dealt with a drug addiction. And his real father was dead.

Floyd turned to football during his teenage years, and thanks in part to people helping him along the way, turned into one of the nation’s top recruits, eventually choosing to sign on with the Gators. Floyd was a freshman All-SEC selection in his first season and started 26 games in three years before deciding to go pro.

Floyd brings positional versatility with the size, strength and athleticism to play multiple spots on the defensive line. As a junior, he had 13 tackles for loss, three sacks and blocked two kicks.

Asked what it would mean to get picked by the Eagles at No. 4, he said, “Back to the City of Brotherly Love it is. It would be good to go back home and see a lot of familiar faces and do something good for the city. I have thought about it.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Greg Cosell of NFL Films (via Pro Football Talk):

“I think Sharrif Floyd is going to be an All-Pro type player right from Day One. I’ve spoken to people in the SEC who say he’s as good a kid as he is a player, and that’s really important when you draft someone No. 1,” Cosell said.

“He’s my favorite player that I’ve seen on tape, and I’ve seen an awful lot of players. He’s an explosive athlete playing defensive tackle. He has really light feet. He’s so gifted physically that he can play anywhere on the line, and I think he will become, like J.J. Watt, a much better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college football.”

In his latest big board, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. has Floyd rated as his top prospect:

In the discussion at No. 1. Matches exceptional power and leverage with strong hands and enough athleticism to be tough on even good tackles. He’s also not yet 21. Could be great in a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. Made major strides as the season progressed, the improvement in part stemming from a positional change and consistently improving technique. Floyd can simply drive linemen into the backfield.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has him No. 2, behind Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel:

Floyd thrived when moved from end to tackle in 2012. He is effective in tight quarters, moves well for his size and improved his ability to use upper-body power to shock blockers. He is able to locate the ball, shed blocks and flow to the ball as quickly as any defensive tackle in this year’s class.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has Floyd rated as his top defensive tackle:

“Sharriff Floyd might be one of the best two or three players in this draft from where you can line him up.”

Josh Norris of Rotoworld has Floyd rated as his No. 5 overall prospect:

Experience inside at defensive tackle or on the edge in multiple fronts. Strong at the point of attack to put his opposition on skates but displays enough foot quickness to win off the snap as well. Flashes violent hands to disengage.

AN EAGLES SLANT

The key word here is versatility. Last year, Floyd was used mostly inside. The first image shows him playing the 3-technique defensive tackle in a four-man front.

Here, in the same quarter of the same game, he’s lined up at nose tackle.

And Floyd also spent time at defensive end (moreso in 2011).

As we mentioned yesterday, Chip Kelly doesn’t like one-dimensional players. Floyd could line up at defensive end in a 3-4 or at defensive tackle in a 4-3. He and Fletcher Cox would combine to give the Eagles one of the best young pairs of interior linemen in the entire NFL.

The Eagles still need to add talent up front, and Floyd would give them an explosive, versatile athlete. Also, don’t forget that he’ll only be 21-years-old when he plays his first NFL game. The best for Floyd is yet to come.

MOCK PROJECTIONS

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has Floyd going third to the Raiders.

Kiper has the same thing. McShay too.

Tony Pauline of USA Today has him falling all the way down to 12.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com says it’ll be Oakland.

Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has Floyd falling to the Panthers at 14.

Norris goes with Oakland.

VIDEO BREAKDOWNS

Here’s a cut-up of Floyd in last year’s bowl game against Louisville (courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com).

It’s easy to see that stats don’t tell the whole story with Floyd. His quickness is what really stands out, specifically against the run. Floyd is constantly creating disruption in the backfield. Even if he isn’t the one finishing, he’s making life a lot easier for his teammates.

At the 2:44 mark, he knifes right past the center and into the backfield. At 3:03, you can see his lateral quickness on a tackle for loss. At 4:36, Floyd uses his size and strength against the guard. And at 5:50, he perfectly executes a twist with his fellow lineman, showing off his athleticism on the way to the quarterback.

Click here for more video cut-ups of Floyd.

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  • Marlin Wert

    I didn’t see what you saw, they handled him pretty well, he wouldn’t be my choice at 4.

    • CJ

      Keep in mind who that is, Louisville’s QB might be the #1 pick next year. The point is Floyd made the guy move and disrupted the pocket. That said, the way I see it, everyone in this draft has flaws. There’s about 6 names that if you told me today that’s who the Eagles took at #4, I could understand what they’re trying to do and wouldn’t complain, at least, not much: (Jordan, Joeckel, Fisher, Smith, Floyd, Star, Richardson). There are another several that I would be fine with in a trade back. (Johnson, Warmack, Vaccaro, Jones, Cooper, Tank) Move back past the middle of the first and that list expands even further. Statistically, some of those guys will flop. They have to. But those are the guys I’m most comfortable with in the top 1/2 or so of this draft.

      Basic math says that they can trade down and still get one of those names in the first group. I think that if they play this draft right, that might be able to come out with two names from those lists, or a name from there and two names from the next tier which has more safeties, NTs and 5techs, CBs, even WRs. There will be teams that move up for need. Several teams need a QB and may want to jump ahead of the others in the 6-10 range, several teams need secondary help and may want to jump Detroit. Several teams need OT help and don’t want to risk missing out on the top 2 tackles. Everyone one of those scenarios can help the Eagles, weak draft or not.

  • JofreyRice

    Jeez, high praise like that from Cosell is hard to disagree with. I’d be happy with Floyd at #4, but if I’m being honest, I like the way Sheldon Richardson plays the game a little more, at this stage. I think adding either of those guys is a rock-solid pick.

    • GGeagle21

      Man, I didnt realize Floyd was that young. Scary monster! Its so hard to even say what we are looking from in Dlineman without knowing the scheme. If we end up playing the scheme I think we will play, than I would take Star over Floyd..I think Star is more suited to take on double teams and eat blocks keeping guys off of Demeco and Kendricks…but if we want a DT that will get after the QB…than I would give Floyd HEAVY consideration at 4, and I would definitely take him instead of star.
      I like Sheldon as well, but not with Floyd and Star on the board. Sheldon is too undisciplined. He either hits a home run, or gets completely pushed out of the position and gets gashed for atleast an 8yard game…although when that happens, its pretty friggin impressive that he is usually the guy to chase down the running back 8-15yards down field. I would only consider Richardson if we trade back and star and Floyd are off the board, but I do like the kid, and would be happy to see him with wings on his helmet

  • jmkrav

    If they draft floyde, and if Kelly really believes in matching scheme to talent, then they should stay with a 4-3. a starting line of Cole-Cox-Floyde-Graham, Barwin SAM, Ryans MIKE, and Kendricks WILL would be great.
    Maybe they go 3-4 in some looks, and 4-2 in the nickle with Sopoaga off the field?

    • southy

      If you’ve got Sop, Cox, and Floyd, with Barwin, Graham (who was slated as a 3-4 OLB anyway come draft time) you’re better off using them in a 3-4. Ryans and Kendricks can learn it. Only odd one out is Cole really, and as much as I think he’s still an impact player, you wouldn’t want to build a defense around him given his age.

    • GGeagle21

      dude, you just gave Barwin some money…Barwin cant play Sam in a 4-3… He would have to be a DE in a 4-3, and I dont really like him there either. Sorry, but I can pretty much assure you that the only times you will get to see a 4man line is when we go 4-2-5 on Nickle 3rd down package. dont shoot the messanger lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshualbrowns Joshua Browns

    I’m not finished watching it yet, but I have to say I’m unimpressed with him based on the game footage from Florida/Louisville. I don’t see the frequent disruptive trips into the backfield you reference, I see a lot of him playing with pretty poor leverage (he’s getting stood up and pushed back a LOT), and while you’re right when you say “At the 2:44 mark, he knifes right past the center and into the
    backfield.”, it’s because it’s a SCREEN PLAY. The linemen make a token attempt at a block and then move out to set up the screen.

    • southy

      You really need to watch a lot of DT tape to really grade whether they’re disruptive or not. I don’t see a lot of physical domination either (maybe too much handfighting when he should really just be driving the G into the backfield) but you should also take into account the fact that he’s facing double teams on 90% of plays.

      If he can demand double teams every play and occasionally beat them, he’s doing his job well. You wouldn’t be able to double Cox and Floyd at the same time.

      • Smegga

        Yes, his hands are too high in that clip. That can be part of a scheme, trying to hold up offensive linemen, or it can be a bad habit that can be coached out of him.
        Either way, the amount of attention he gets is great as it releases his teammates to go get the ball. So if we draft him, and he plays up to his potential, then Cox, Barwin, Cole and Graham will love him.
        But that’s a big if.

        • GGeagle21

          some nice analysis guys…pretty much agree. Its tricky with DT’s because of the attention they get. You cant expect a guy to just destroy a double team from 600 combined LB’s of beef, so you have to look at
          a)Does he consistently Command the double team?
          b)How he handles it( Does the Double team wipe him out the play, or does he atleast stand his ground, hold that double team and not have a lineman peel off and get to a LB)?
          C) Can he still make some plays on his own inspite of the double team?
          d) The few times he isnt double teamed, does he immediately make them pay?
          I had no idea Floyd was this young. I have some re-evaluating to do. He isnt even close to having his grown man strength kick in yet. What a prospect (Hopefully our scheme allows him to get heavy consideration)

  • Smegga

    Sheil, Todd McShay’s latest mock draft has Floyd dropping to the Titans at number 10.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Sheil – Thanks for the video, which helps put it all in perspective. Another awesome feature of this site! I think they should draft O-line, but I could be really happy with Sharrif Floyd. I liked the way he shrugged off double teams, and how he finished off plays by going after the ball (in the video). He could be a terror for the Eags. What we saw was college ball, of course, but it looked like Louisville had a pretty decent O-line/running game. We need a player like Sharrif to build up the D-line, or Joeckel or Fisher for the O-line.