Floyd falls to Minnesota

The waiting time in the green room was longer than expected, but former Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd came off the board at No. 23 to the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Floyd serves as the 44th first round pick in Florida history and the first player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft under head coach Will Muschamp.

"The further you go in the draft, the better an organization you're going to be with," Will Muschamp said. "Minnesota is a great organization to be with."

Sharrif Floyd became the highest Florida player drafted since the Miami Dolphins selected Mike Pouncey at No. 15 during the 2009 NFL Draft. Floyd also became the 16th Florida defensive lineman selected in the first round since 2000.

He became the 11th Florida player drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. The last one before Floyd was Percy Harvin, who was taken No. 22 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Harvin was traded to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

The only known concerns about Floyd before the draft were that his arms measured shorter than preferred, but he still showed enough on tape to be an expected pick early in the draft. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock mentioned late in the channel's draft coverage that some employees of NFL teams suggested character concerns from Floyd, but Muschamp was quick to shoot that down.

"I was with the young man for two years, and he was as good of a young man as we had on our football team," Muschamp said. "There's absolutely no character issues. I don't know where that comes form. People grasp at straws when a guy slides a little bit in the draft. At the end of the day, he's a first round pick in the NFL Draft. That's a heck of an accomplishment."

Floyd declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season when he became the first Florida defensive lineman to earn All-America honors since 2001. He finished his career in Gainesville with 115 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, one pass breakup, three blocked field goals and one forced fumble. He led the Gators with 13 tackles for a loss in 2012.

The wait wasn't too much for Floyd. He claims there weren't any expectations going into the draft.

"I didn't really come into this thing thinking I was going to go to a specific place," Floyd said. "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."

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