In 2012, the Florida Gators had just two players selected in the entire NFL Draft.
After just one round in the 2013 edition of the draft, the Gators have already equaled that total and have another seven players who are expected to hear their names called before the draft ends.
Despite being projected as high as the No. 3 overall pick by “draft experts” and rated the No. 1 defensive player in the entire draft by others, Sharrif Floyd fell all the way to the Minnesota Vikings at the 23rd pick.
Will Muschamp was in New York at Radio City Music Hall with Floyd and he spoke with the media after about what it was like waiting so long to hear Floyd’s name called.
“It is what it is. I’ve been in the NFL; it goes back to what certain teams need. Whatever happens, happens,” Muschamp said. “At the end of the day he’s going to a great organization. I was at Miami with Rick Spielman and those guys do a first-class job.”
Floyd also spoke with the media about what his expectations were coming into the draft and how it felt to sit in the green room waiting to hear his name called.
“I was sitting here waiting for my name to be called, at some point I knew it was coming and I was waiting for the best fit to pick me,” Floyd said. “I didn’t really come into this thing thinking I was going to go to a specific place. I came in waiting for the best fit for me and you know that is how I looked at it. I didn’t look as I was going somewhere else, I was waiting for the best ball club to pick me and I’m happy Rick Spielman found it in himself to pick me.”
While Floyd said all of the right things to the press following the draft, don’t think he won’t use this as motivation.
Will Muschamp appeared on NFL Network this morning and when asked about what he and Floyd were talking about during their wait, Muschamp said he told Floyd to keep building that chip on his shoulder. Floyd responded by saying, “I got a bag of Lays on my shoulder.”
Despite being considered the best player at his position in the draft by most analysts, Floyd was the third defensive tackle selected. But hey, teams don’t end up with high draft picks for making smart decisions.
Florida’s second player drafted was Matt Elam. Elam expected to be drafted in either the late first round or the early second round. The former happened and the fit couldn’t be any more perfect for both the Ravens and Elam.
“I think he’ll be very successful,” Muschamp said. Matt is extremely intelligent. He can play multiple positions. He can do a lot of things for you. He is a physical, tough football player. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He is a guy that throws his body around. He is a reckless football player. He has ball-hawk ability as far as creating turnovers and being a part of gaining the ball back for the Ravens. So, I think he’s going to be outstanding.”
The Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome told the media today that Elam is a player who can come in and compete on special teams immediately but he will also be asked to play both safety positions as well as some nickel back.
Newsome also said that Elam was the highest-rated player left on their board when the Ravens were selecting at No. 32. While most coaches and general managers will say this for every player they draft, Elam really was the best fit for the Ravens.
Elam will soften the blow of losing Ed Reed and should give the Ravens a Pro-Bowl caliber player in the future.