Florida's Shariff Floyd is likely a top 10 pick in April's NFL Draft. - USA TODAY Sports
Scouting Florida's defensive tackle Shariff Floyd
In the minds of most 49er fans, a dream draft scenario would involve drafting Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. Floyd is likely a top 10 draft pick this April and the top defensive tackle available. He can fill needs for just about any team in the league as he can fit both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes.
Floyd was a top prospect coming out of high school and after three years in college, he's now a top prospect heading into the NFL. His progression and meteoric rise up draft boards have him poised for a successful NFL career.
Height: 6'2 5/8
Vertical Jump: 30"
Broad Jump: 8'10"
3-cone drill: 7.4
- Versatility: Floyd played up and down the defensive line for the Gators. He projects as a 3-technique tackle in the 4-3 or a 5-technique end in the 3-4.
- Upper body strength: Floyd didn't participate in the bench press at the Combine but he didn't need to. His strength shows on film a he tosses interior lineman aside seemingly at the snap of the football.
- Hands: Floyd's handwork against offensive linemen is very impressive. He does a great job using them to fend of interior lineman before they can engage him. He also has a lethal swim move that would probably rival some outside pass rushers.
- Quickness: While he isn't a burner by any means, Floyd has a great first step and ability to get on top of blockers before they know it. Few rival his initial burst.
- Vision: Improved in this area in 2012. Floyd keeps his head up to identify ball carriers and plays. He can read the flow of the offensive to diagnose plays. He also has shown a willingness to read the quarterback's eyes and attempt to bat the pass down at the line of scrimmage should he not be able to pressure the pocket.
- Anchoring: Floyd has some experience playing two gap assignments but seems to struggle anchoring at the point of attack. He uses his hands well but once fully engaged he struggles to get free.
- Pad level: Floyd has a tendency to play too high. Because he's so quick he often fires off the ball to get to the backfield and loses his technique. Will need to learn to stay low to avoid getting swallowed up at the line of scrimmage.
- Footwork: On occasion, once engaged Floyd tends to stop moving his feet and allow himself to be pushed up field or taken out of the play.
Doing your homework:
Why he fits the 49ers:
Floyd is the type of explosive defensive lineman the 49ers lack. Justin Smith is an absolute beast against the run and does a phenomenal job of taking on blocks to allow linebackers to make the play. Ray McDonald is essentially nothing more than a run defender. Floyd is a do it all defender. He's uses instincts and vision to be effective against the run while also possessing quickness and power to be an effective pass rusher.
Why he might not fit the 49ers:
Availability might be the biggest reason why he likely won't be part of the roster in 2013. Floyd is a likely top-10 pick and if the Niners want him, they'll need to make a significant move up the draft board.
Scheme is another reason why there might not be a fit. The Niners don't ask their ends to pressure the quarterback. Their main jobs are to anchor the line, take on blocks, and stop the run. Given Floyd's issues anchoring combined with his natural pass rushing ability, I feel Floyd would be best suited playing the 3-technique in a 4-3.
Disclaimer: Of course, that's not to say he can't be an effective 5-technique end. His skill set actually reminds me a lot J.J. Watt. Should he end up with a 3-4 team, he'd benefit from one that lets their ends to more than focus on stopping the run.
What they're saying:
- Dane Brugler from DraftBreakdown.com says:
"He does an excellent job using his hands to defeat blocks, flashing the motor and nasty attitude that NFL scouts seek in the trenches."
"At some point, San Francisco has to assume that the ageless Justin Smith might finally need a breather, and Floyd is the type of versatile defensive lineman who profiles well as a 3-4 defensive end. Florida moved Floyd to the inside during his sophomore season, but he was back at defensive end this season, and just kept getting better. Like Smith, he's a powerful player who can push the pocket with power and will free up other pass-rushers, while making tackles for loss on his own."
Floyd is the top player on the board in my opinion. With a little seasoning and development he could quickly become the top tackle in the league. His unique paring of power and quickness with excellent handwork will earn Floyd a lot of money in the NFL.
The only question for the 49ers is: what is the price to pay to move up and grab perhaps the most talented player in the draft and is it worth it?