When the Minnesota Vikings used the 23rd overall pick of the 2013 National Football League Draft on Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, it was thought that he was going to be the heir apparent to Kevin Williams at the "three-technique" tackle position. (For more on what a "three-technique" tackle does, check out Arif's article from around this time last year about the Tampa-2.)
So, at first glance, it appears that the Vikings' top draft pick is going to be the second guy on the depth chart at his position. However, as 1500 ESPN tells us, and as "drocksthaparty" mentioned in the FanPosts, it appears that Floyd is still in line to get plenty of snaps.
Floyd's work ethic was seemingly rewarded on Wednesday, when he received reps inside with the first-team nickel defense alongside veteran Letroy Guion.
"I don't look at it as first team, second team, third team," Floyd said. "No matter what team is out there, we're always competing. I'm just rotating with the guys and doing what I'm told."
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Playing in nickel would mean Floyd would be expected to provide a pass rush -- something he struggled to do consistently at Florida, where he recorded 4½ sacks over the past two seasons. It also may be his best chance to get on the field, with Kevin Williams entrenched as the three-technique.
Given that the Vikings were only in their "base" 4-3 defense about 40% of the time in 2012, and that the other three teams in the NFC North likely haven't decreased their propensity for throwing the football, being a part of the first-team nickel defense will mean that Sharrif Floyd will be on the field a lot. I'd be surprised if he was out there alongside Letroy Guion. . .not when the Vikings have guys like Everson Griffen and/or Brian Robison they could shift inside in order to get Robison, Griffen, and Jared Allen on the field at the same time in passing situations, anyway.
All three of the Vikings' first-round selections seem poised to make an impact, with Floyd getting plenty of time in sub packages, Xavier Rhodes apparently penciled in as a starter at cornerback, and Cordarrelle Patterson currently as the #1 kick returner (among the other things that I'm sure the Vikings will use him for). It's going to be a pretty exciting Training Camp for us. Shame that it's still five weeks away.