A position-by-position look at prospects in this year’s NFL Draft. This entry: Defensive Tackles.





INDIANAPOLIS –Sharrif Floyd is not like most prospects entering this year's NFL Draft.

His unique skill set has him continuing to rise up draft boards, but it is his recollection of watching his first NFL game that truly sets him apart.

* *

"The first game I ever watched was the Super Bowl when the Colts won it in 2007," Floyd said during February's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

"Even when I started playing, there was no interest in watching it because I liked to play it instead of sitting down and being still and watching a game while all my friends were jumping around and getting excited for no reason.  It just wasn't a preference of mine, but now it is so I watch it and play it now."

NFL scouts have been watching Floyd with a keen eye over his three seasons as a Florida defensive lineman.

The six-foot-three-inch, 297-pound Floyd was a terror on one of the nation's premier defenses and is considered perhaps the top defensive lineman in the 2013 draft class.

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"What is most important about (Floyd) is his explosion," NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock said. "He reminds me, and I'm not going to say he's ever going to be Warren Sapp, but it's that type of first-step explosion.  He can get an edge as a pass rusher.  He's strong enough to push the pocket.  He's stout against the run, and he can run sideline-to-sideline.

"Again, I think he's a top 5 talent in this draft, and I think his best position is defensive tackle on the four-man front."

Versatility of where Floyd can line up on a defensive front is one of his greatest attributes.

During February's combine, Floyd ran a sub five-second 40-yard dash and showed off the explosiveness that has Mayock calling him an "ideal prospect for the three-technique."

Where exactly Floyd will line up at the next level is to be determined, and he laid out his viewpoint of each position.

"Inside is much closer to the ball and to running plays that are going toward you or away from you and it's much easier to disrupt plays that are going away.  Outside, you have to be a little more patient in some situations.  The ball can run away from you and you have to chase it down from behind," Floyd said of the different positions he lined up at during his time at Florida.

"Still they both get their fair share of disruption and sacks and things of that nature, so there's a different mindset at the two positions, but you get more contact at the three-technique and I needed to get down there where it was noisy."

Floyd's first two seasons in Gainesville were spent on the outside, at defensive end, before sliding down to defensive tackle and becoming a 2012 first-team All-American.

It was inevitable that 2012 would be Floyd's final season in college with his coaches supporting his decision after the Philadelphia native received a first-round grade.

At the next level, Floyd patterns his game after Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and teams are salivating over such a comparison.

"In my eyes I feel I'm a dynamic player," Floyd said.  "I'm going to go out there and disrupt at my position and everything that's needed for a defensive tackle."



The last five defensive tackles drafted by the Colts:

2012:  Josh Chapman, fifth round, Alabama

2011:  Drake Nevis, third round, LSU

2010:  Ricardo Mathews, seventh round, Cincinnati

2009:  Terrance Taylor, fourth round, Michigan

2009:  Fili Moala, second round, Southern Cal


An alphabetical list of defensive tackles expected to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft (*-denotes underclassman):

Sharrif Floyd*, Florida

Johnathan Hankins*, Ohio State

Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin

Jonathan Jenkins, Georgia

Star Lotulelei, Utah

Sheldon Richardson*, Missouri

Kawann Short, Purdue

Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern

Sylvester Williams, North Carolina

Note:  The content in this story and in the series of draft-eligible players that appears on Colts.com in no way reflects the position of the Indianapolis Colts.

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