Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Slowing Floyd's Rapid Rise; Put Stats Aside: UF Defensive Tackle Will Be among First Players off Board

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Slowing Floyd's Rapid Rise; Put Stats Aside: UF Defensive Tackle Will Be among First Players off Board

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

GAINESVILLE | The question regarding Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd's NFL Draft stock has shifted.

Two months ago, the question many were asking was: "Who has Floyd going third overall?"

Now, the question is: "Who doesn't?"

Floyd's value rose dramatically in the minds of draft analysts as they examined his 2012 film in the first month after he announced he was leaving UF. He was projected as a late first-round pick when he decided to forego his eligibility immediately following the Sugar Bowl.

Fortunately for Floyd, there's been no fluctuation. Throughout the NFL Scouting Combine and his individual pro day, Floyd's value has maintained its elite status.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock rates the 6-foot-3, 297-pound Floyd as the second-best overall prospect in the draft behind Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher. Mayock has compared Floyd's explosiveness to Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp's. Floyd ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.92 seconds.

"His quickness and ability to get up the field and disrupt the pass game is unique for a defensive tackle," Mayock said. "If you can get a defensive tackle that can affect the pass game, you've got something special. He's also stout enough to play the run, so I have him No. 2 on my board. I love the kid."

With Oakland being in desperate need of interior defensive linemen, most analysts project the Raiders will select Floyd with the third overall pick in Thursday's first round.

"I think Floyd would make a lot of sense for Oakland," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said.

Should Floyd be taken third, he'd be the highest Florida player selected since defensive tackle Gerard Warren went in the same spot to Cleveland in 2001. No UF player has ever been selected in the top two picks of the draft during the Super Bowl era.

Floyd will be attending the draft proceedings at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He shouldn't have a long wait before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calls him up on stage. …

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