The Minnesota Vikings have selected Florida DT Sharrif Floyd with the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Produces legitimately and consistently from everywhere on the defensive front -- Floyd is a potential game-changer from end to one-tech shade tackle, though his NFL future is most likely inside for the most part. Hits the line with great speed and an outstanding hand-strike, which allows him to stay active against protection. Stack-and-shed player who bounces off initial contact and moves to make the play. Has perhaps the best overall array of hand moves of any defensive lineman in this draft class -- will use rip and swim moves to get free from wrestling matches. Presents an outstanding bull-rush when he uses leverage correctly. Accelerates quickly to full speed and can move through a pocket in a hurry.
Cons: Could be a function of read-and-react fronts, but Floyd doesn't always fire off the snap with optimal quickness -- you'd like to see more explosiveness at times. Vulnerable to cut-blocks. Will lose his place when walled off to one side and flail at tackle attempts in space. Nice motor through the play, but tends to run himself out of the action at times. Needs to play under control more consistently. May have topped out from a physical stature perspective, which may limit his snaps inside the three-tech role.
What he brings to the team: Where Floyd stands out in this draft class is in the multiplicity of his game -- the varied ways in which he can affect opposing offenses as a true multi-gap weapon (not just as a big guy who stops things up when you move him around), and the different techniques he's learned that allow him to deal with blockers. The latter ability should prove especially valuable to NFL teams that must be frustrated by the overall lack of developed hand moves in this year's class of pass-rushers. This is a well-developed player with still more upside to come, and the kind of mentality that will bring him very close to the ultimate realization of his athletic potential.
Was it the right pick? Good Lord, yes. I had Floyd fifth on my board -- this is an amazing get for the Vikings.