When Sharrif Floyd announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft after Florida's loss in the Sugar Bowl, the general consensus was a mid-to-late first round selection for the junior. He made 46 tackles during his final season, including 13 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. The 13 tackles for a loss in 2012 matched the combined totals during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Despite the numbers, players and NFL executives still think they don't tell the entire story for how good Floyd is. The rumors have him going in the early first round, but his statistical production hasn't matched defensive linemen taken in the top five in recent years.
The film shows what he can do. When Floyd wasn't making the tackles in the backfield, the double team he demanded opened up a hole for a ilneman next to him to make the play. That's what NFL executives are starting to see, and what his Florida teammates have known all along.
"Effort, consistency, playmaking ability, plays the game the way it should be played, down in and down out," Jacksonville Jaguars first-year general manager David Caldwell said of Floyd. "For a defensive lineman to play as hard for how many plays as he does is impressive."
The combine was Floyd's breakout moment. He checked in at 6-3, 297 pounds and ran a 4.92 40 time, catching the eye of all executives in attendance. Reports soon began to surface about Floyd being considered a lock for the top ten, and he's now being mentioned as high as a top-three pick.
But again -- no surprise to anyone in Gainesville.
"I knew from day one that Sharrif was going to be impressive and be one of those guys that would be drafted pretty high due to his work ethic," former Florida safety Josh Evans said. "He's strong, quick, how quick he is. He's just an all-around guy, big athlete.
BOSTIC ANSWERING QUESTIONS: Jon Bostic was a little surprised to hear the question. The aspect of his game most NFL teams were concerned about was his running ability. Bostic, and his position coach D.J. Durkin, were a little surprised to hear that.He put together a strong senior season, finishing the season third on the team with 68 tackles and adding 6.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two interceptions, four quarterback hurries and one forced fumble and recovery. He filled the stat sheet while playing tougher at the line of scrimmage and becoming an impact middle linebacker.
But could he run?
Bostic answered that question by ripping of a 4.61, one of the best times for any linebacker at the combine.
"The main thing with me was a lot of people wanted to see if I could run," Bostic said with a grin. "Their prediction for me was 4.8, so that was kinda funny."
The feedback has now become more positive since the combine. Bostic's agent has been receiving more phone calls from multiple teams trying to set up interviews and workouts with Bostic. He couldn't remember the long list off the top of his head on Tuesday.
"(My agent) just says a lot of eyes were opened at the combine," Bostic said. "People didn't expect me to run as fast as I did and be as agile as I was."