Floyd ready to break out in 2014?

Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes have pretty well established themselves in starting roles. Sharrif Floyd, the first of the 2013 first-round picks, could be ready to break out, too.

Of the three Vikings first-round picks in 2013, their respective breakouts have come in reverse order.

Big things are expected in 2014 from the last of the three – Cordarrelle Patterson. The middle pick of the three, Xavier Rhodes, is hoping to be the 51st state (Rhodes Island). The first of those three picks, Sharrif Floyd, has yet to make his role clearly defined with the Vikings.

Drafted to share time with Kevin Williams, the under tackle job with the Vikings is now Floyd’s to own. He is the last of the Big Three of the Class of 2013 to get his chance to shine.

As Floyd readies to make his statement as player, he’s doing so with a new position coach, Andre Patterson.

“As a player, especially dealing with Coach P, it’s learning the way that he wants to teach it and going out and believing in it,” Floyd said. “Overall, as a player, I think I’ve got that.”

Floyd is a believer in Patterson’s system and, with so many changes taking place on the coaching front over the last eight months, the continuity that has remained in the defensive line room is a positive because Floyd is familiar with Patterson’s system.

“Everybody teaches different,” Floyd said. “He teaches his technique. He wants his technique perfected. If you believe in it, you will excel in his defense.”

Part of the system is something Floyd familiar with – rotating players on and off the field in order to keep everyone at their best. It’s Patterson’s way and Floyd is buying in even if it means coming off the field when he doesn’t want to.

“It definitely keeps us fresh,” Floyd said. “We’re going to roll with it either way.”

Defensive coordinator George Edwards has been impressed with Floyd’s improvement from his rookie season to now. Floyd’s production last week against Arizona was evidence to Edwards that the light has come on and he’s making the steps expected of him, perhaps surpassing them.

“I think it’s something he has been working on,” Edwards said. “I think you felt his presence more inside last week as far as the push inside. We thought that was his best performance as far as going out and pushing the pocket. We’ve seen it out here in practice numerous times, but coming out of that first ball game to the second, you really felt him a lot more with his inside presence in the pass rush.”

On Saturday, coaches and fans are going to get the most extensive look at Floyd that we’ve seen in Year 2 – at a time when the other two first-round picks of 2013 are being touted as breakout players.

Two out of three ain’t bad, but things tend to run in threes. The Vikings believe they’re privy to a secret the rest of the NFL is going to be aware a month from now – all three of the Big Three are ready to be big.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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