Florida DT Sharrif Floyd‘s draft stock has been soaring leading up to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
The extremely explosive and very versatile defensive tackle is projected to get selected anywhere from the No. 3 to the No. 18 overall pick NFL Draft Insiders have him going to the Panthers at 14 and WalterFootball.com has him headed to the Oakland Raiders on April 25.
Floyd looked solid in Indianapolis Monday morning, running a pair of sub-5.0 second 40s at about 300 pounds. However, he raised the most eyebrows when he responded to a standard question of which NFL player he models his game after.
“I haven’t really watched the league in a long time,” Floyd said (via NBC Sports). “I first started watching it in 2007, but I did get to know Ndamukong Suh in 2010 so we have a good relationship and I’ve watched him play a couple of times.”
Call me crazy, but that may not be something you want potential employers to know in a job interview.
“It wasn’t that there was no interest, I just didn’t know nothing about it, so there was no reason to watch it,” he continued. “Even when I started playing there was no interest in watching it because I liked to play it instead of sitting down and being still and watching a game while all my friends were jumping around and getting excited for no reason.
“It just wasn’t a preference of mine, but now it is so I watch it and play it now.”
While it’s pretty clear that Floyd, who also ran a 1.68 in his 10-yard split, has plenty of motivation these days having trained for the Combine and pre-draft workouts to boost his stock for the next level and make him financially secure, as PFT’s Darin Gantt points out, an NFL team is about to invest millions of dollars into a guy “who may or may not like the game he’s about to turn into a career.”
The 2012 third-team AP All-American and first-team All-SEC selection totaled 46 tackles with 3.0 sacks and led the Florida Gators with a whopping 13 tackles for loss this past season and lined up at plenty of different positions, including the one and two-gap techniques at DE and the one and three-technique, as well as the true zero-technique at nose tackle.
He may be a little rough around the edges, but his combination of quickness, athleticism and scheme versatility will appeal really well to 3-4 and 4-3 teams alike in the first half of the first round. In fact, with the heart condition of Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (who is in our thoughts and prayers), Floyd could go as high as No. 2 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Though the Jaguars’ strategy could be different under the new regime, the team has had a history of selecting local products through the draft. It’s also worth noting that Floyd also struggled with a rough childhood, bouncing between multiple homes before settling in Gainsville. In fact, his school held a bake sale to help him pay for the trip to the All-American Bowl and he received additional funds from a third party to visit campuses during therecruiting process.
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.