The Vikings made a splash in the first round of the NFL Draft this year. One pick the team believes they got away with was the pick to secure Sharrif Floyd as a Minnesota Viking.
Floyd was a standout defensive tackle at Florida. He was a first-team All-American according to The Sporting News as well as All-Southeastern Conference honors following his junior season.
As a sophomore in 2011, Floyd played 11 games at defensive end. He tallied 46 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, a pass breakup, and a blocked kick. Compared to the rest of the team, Floyd had the most quarterback hurries with four in the 2011 season.
In Floyd’s junior season he moved back to the position he was most comfortable with, defensive tackle. He had a lot of success at the position in the toughest conference in college football. He totaled 31 tackles (19 solo), 8.5 tackles for a loss, and four quarterback hurries. He came into the draft ranked among most draft analysts top ten picks. He was even considered a top five prospect by some. He was expected to be drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the third pick but the team passed on Floyd and he dropped all the way to the Vikings’ 23rd pick. Christmas came early for the Vikings, Floyd was a steal for the pick he was drafted at.
Floyd came into Vikings camp as a backup defensive tackle who will develop into a starting position post-Kevin Williams. However, Floyd has shown a lot of potential early and has been seeing a multitude of playing time in practice and the teams first preseason game. He will help bring back the success that Pat and Kevin Williams had stopping the inside run game. The Vikings’ defensive front will cause many issues for opposing offenses for years to come.
In the first preseason game of Floyd’s career he recorded a deflected pass and a tackle for a loss before an injury to his left knee sidelined him. Floyd was examined this past weekend including an MRI which concluded there was no major damage that requires any more attention than taking things day-by-day. Floyd’s participation will be limited in Monday’s practice as a precaution. His availability for Friday’s game against the Bills will be based on how he feels throughout the week. The team would like to keep Floyd healthy to keep his progression rolling.
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams has this to say after an early team walk-through,“They were out(Floyd & Audie Cole). I think, in my estimation, it was precautionary. Again, we have time on our side, we have three weeks left and there is no reason to beat the guys up now and so I expect them to practice today. Not quite sure how much they will practice but they’ll be out and suited up.”
The team has a goal line and short yardage practice scheduled to finish up the day.