Knowing that the Vikings had a bevy of available picks at positions of need for their draft, the Vikings selected one of the two best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the draft in Sharrif Floyd.
The highest available player on my Big Board, the Vikings not only selected a talent with extraordinary value, they selected a player that will be able to rotate with Kevin Williams or pair with him on passing downs. Fit for either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, Floyd's draft value was immense going in. When Kevin Williams moves out, Floyd should take over. In nickel packages, both he and Williams should pair together to help rush the passer while the rest of the defense stays put, creating havoc in the backfield without having to worry too much about the run.
Floyd had a tough childhood, finding his way through poverty without a father. He turned himself into an all-star athlete and was a 5-star high school recruit.
At 297 pounds and at 6'3", Floyd has preternatural balance and speed, running the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds.and running the 3-cone in 7.4 seconds. This shows up on the field like you would expect, with one of the most explosive playing styles in the country. His quickness has allowed him to show up in opposing backfields with alacrity, and he recorded 13 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in 2012, to round out a career where he totaled 26 tackles for loss.
With his quickness, he has great strength. His 30 bench reps are some testament to this, but even more than that, he pushed weighty guards around in the SEC. With that strength comes an elite ability to push off the line and shed blocks, making him an asset in goal line packages as well.
While he has somewhat of a limited move set, he does well with his swim moves and has excellent hands. He moves his hands well across the face or underneath the arms of his opponent and can easily collapse the pocket. With a natural ability to play with technique and punch out strongly, he'll consistently perform for the Vikings. He can redirect players and push offensive linemen around to get to the ball.
He has light feet and is one of the most athletic defensive tackles in the draft—if not the most. He can play skinny, dip or bend. Some have compared his game to that of a defensive end in a defensive tackle's body. In fact, he has experience playing at every spot on the line, including 4-3 defensive end. With a high motor and excellent burst, he'll cause constant trouble for opposing guards.
Floyd's greatest weaknesses are all correctable errors. He plays too high and needs to expand his reportoire of pass-rushing moves, but can bull-rush or speed-rush. In addition, he needs more experience reading plays and will need to go through a small clinic on tackling technique, because he will lose players in the backfield.
Nevertheless, it will be correctly characterized as one of the best picks in the draft. The Vikings are off to a great start.