“And I’m free, free falling. Yeah I’m free, free falling”
Tom Petty’s lyrics could have been written about Sharrif Floyd’s night at Radio City Music Hall.
Floyd was projected to go as high as the No. 3 overall pick in the draft but fell all the way to No. 23 and the Minnesota Vikings.
Mike Mayock said on the set of NFL Network’s draft show that he called teams to ask why Floyd was falling so far. Mayock was told because of “five career sacks” and “character issues.”
This is a kid who came from nothing, had to have his teachers help him raise money through a bake sale just to be able to attend the Army All-American game in high school and was spending time talking to elementary school kids about his life and overcoming adversity the week leading up to the draft.
“I was with the young man for two years,” Muschamp said of Floyd. “There are absolutely no character issues. I don’t know where that comes from. People grasp at straws when a guy falls in the NFL Draft.”
Floyd will now head to Minnesota, a team that lost a former Gator in Percy Harvin to begin the offseason and will step in right away into the Vikings 4-3 defense. Floyd is an NFL-ready defensive tackle who can play both defensive tackle and defensive end.
“I think he is a guy that can play anywhere from the five technique to inside.” Muschamp said. “He played an end for us my first year at Florida, but he’s a guy that can do a lot of different things from two gap and one gap. He has good inline movement and again he can give you some inside pass rush.”
When he spoke with the media after the draft, Floyd sounded like a player who was ready to strap on the pads and get on the field to show every team that passes him up exactly what they missed out on.
“I’m ready to get started, man. I feel down right now, there’s a chip on my shoulder. I have to prove myself,” Floyd told the NFL Network. “The Minnesota Vikings did a great thing and took a chance on me, and I ain’t gonna let them down. It’s time to get going.”
If you had told the Vikings that Floyd would have been available at 23 a week ago, they wouldn’t have believed you. Now they will get one of the best defensive players in the draft with a chip on his shoulder.
“I don’t think there’s any question the Vikings got better today. He’s an outstanding young man, first of all. He’s going to be great in the locker room and he’s an outstanding player.” Muschamp said. “He’s an every-down player inside in the NFL.”