AFC West: Sharrif Floyd

Oakland Raiders mock draft

April, 25, 2013
4/25/13
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A look at the Oakland Raiders' full mock draft:

Summary: The Raiders want to get more picks, especially in the second and third rounds. Oakland’s actual order may look vastly different. But this class would add long-term help for a team that is completely rebuilding.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay offers his final first-round mock draft . Here are his AFC West thoughts:

1. Kansas City: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

My take: Fisher has gained steam for this pick and McShay is giving the Chiefs Fisher over Luke Joeckel because of scheme fit. I can see it. This type of draft-day drama involving the top pick is rare.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: The Raiders want to deal this pick and they could get some takers. If they stay in the top 10, they might be able to get Floyd and some badly needed picks.

11. San Diego: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

My take: McShay says he doesn’t think Joeckel will get past the top three picks, but he thinks San Diego will come up and make a trade for Joeckel. This would be one of the stories of the draft if it happens.

28. Denver: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

My take: Jones is a player who scouts really like. He would be another strong front-seven player on Denver’s defense.
The real thing is almost here. In the meantime, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper offers his final first-round mock draft in an Insider piece. Here are his AFC West thoughts: Insider

1. Kansas City: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

My take: Joeckel has long been considered the safe pick. There has been some late media chatter that Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher will be the choice, but Kiper sticks with Joeckel.

3. Oakland: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

My take: The Raiders want to deal this pick and they could get some takers. If they stay in the top 10, they might be able to get Floyd and some badly needed picks.

11. San Diego: D.J. Fluker, G, Alabama

My take: This would be a surprise. Kiper has Fluker going before Alabama teammate Chance Warmack, widely considered the better prospect.

28. Denver: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State

My take: This would be a great long-term deal. Carradine is explosive but is recovering from a major knee injury. He is reportedly coming along well, however.
Perhaps the Oakland Raiders will have the entire defensive side of the ball at their disposal when the No. 3 over pick rolls around in Thursday night's NFL draft.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the word around the league is left tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are expected to go in the first two picks. Jacksonville had been heavily connected to Oregon pass-rusher Dion Jordan with the No. 2 pick.

If the Jaguars go for a left tackle, it would benefit the Raiders. Oakland has needs all over the field, but I think it needs to look at defense first. Having a chance to pick any defensive player on the board would be beneficial for Oakland.

Both Jordan and Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd would be interesting picks for Oakland. In that case, the Raiders may want to root for the Jaguars to take a left tackle so this scenario unfolds.

In other AFC West notes:

In an Insider piece, former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian thinks the Raiders have the first “pivot point" of the draft trade market Insider with the No. 3 pick. Raiders want to deal it.

In a procedural move, Denver punter Britton Colquitt signed his restricted free-agent tender.

Video: Floyd moving up draft boards

April, 22, 2013
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Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was a Monday visitor to ESPN offices, where he discussed his rise on NFL draft boards. Floyd is considered a prime target for the Oakland Raiders with the No. 3 overall pick.
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

What’s the ideal first-round scenario for each team?

Denver

The Broncos are in a decent position sitting at No. 28. Yes, all of the elite players will be long gone. But the Broncos can get better at this spot. Denver doesn’t have many pressing needs, but it can surely upgrade at a few positions. Among the spots Denver could use some help at are on the defensive line, running back, cornerback and middle linebacker. This is a deep class on the defensive line and at cornerback, and the better running backs and inside linebackers may be available late in the first round. Denver would love to see these players available at No. 28: Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, Florida State pass-rushers Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant and Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. I think, at least, one of these players will be available. Thus, Denver should get a player it covets.

Kansas City

Since the Chiefs will start the draft with the No. 1 pick, they dictate the show. But we’ve long talked about this being a bad year for the Chiefs to have the top pick. After a tremendous quarterback class last year, this year’s crop is devoid of top talent. The Chiefs could still find talent at the top of the draft, but they would prefer to trade out of the top spot to collect more picks and get out of paying the highest rookie contract. For that to happen, some team will have to come out of the woodwork. Thus far, there aren’t many indications there will be a market for the top pick. But if some team falls in love with a specific player, the Chiefs would accommodate them.

Oakland

The Raiders are in a similar spot as the Chiefs -- they want to trade down. In fact, Oakland likely wants to deal the No. 3 pick more than the Chiefs want to get rid of the No. 1 pick. Oakland badly needs to stock its roster. Trading the No. 3 pick may be easier than dealing the No. 1 pick. The price will be less and teams may be intrigued by the way the first two picks fall. So, I could see Oakland getting a suitable trade offer while on the clock. Oakland would love to still get a top-15 pick to get a top defensive talent and recoup its second-round pick lost in the Carson Palmer debacle. Now, if the Raiders don’t make a trade, they will be in good shape at No. 3. The Raiders badly need defensive talent. Among the top defensive prospects are Oregon pass-rusher Dion Jordan, Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. At least two of those players will be available at No. 3, so Oakland will be sitting pretty.

San Diego

This is pretty simple: The Chargers want to see Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson still on the board at No. 11. But it may be iffy. The Chargers have a lot of needs, but no need is greater than at left tackle. The Chargers do not have a blindside protector for quarterback Philip Rivers. That’s scary. But there is no sure thing San Diego will find its left tackle in the draft. Top prospects Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will both be gone by the time the Chargers pick. Johnson has been a fast riser and there is a good chance he will be gone. Arizona at No. 7 is considered a strong landing spot for the super-athletic Johnson. The Chargers need quarterback Geno Smith to go in the top seven picks. If the Eagles take him at No. 4, it could push Fisher to No. 7 and Johnson to No. 11. If the Cardinals take Smith, Johnson could fall to the Chargers.
Mel Kiper Jr. is getting busy playing general manager and making trades (two involving AFC West teams) in a new three-round mock draft in an Insider piece Insider. Let’s take a look:

Denver

Rd. 1 (28) CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida St.

Rd. 2 (58) DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M

Rd. 3 (90) OL Barrett Jones, Alabama

My thoughts: The Broncos would be getting terrific value at all three spots. This is both good short-term and long-term value. Moore would be a steal at No. 58.

Kansas City

Rd. 1 (5) OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (via Detroit)

Rd. 3 (63) S J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern

Rd. 3 (96) QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina St.

My thoughts: This would be a banner first three rounds for the Chiefs. Kiper has them sending the No.1 overall pick to Detroit for the No. 5 pick and the Lions’ top pick next year. The Chiefs would get Fisher, a player who they could take at No. 1, and get more ammunition for next year’s draft. Plus, taking a flier on Glennon with a compensatory pick makes sense.

Oakland

Rd. 1 (3) DE Sharrif Floyd, Florida

Rd. 3 (66) DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St.

My thoughts: The Raiders would like to acquire more picks. But if this is the bounty, I really like where the defensive line is heading. I love Floyd, and Hankins would be a nice get at No. 66.

San Diego

Rd. 1 (6) OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma (via Cleveland)

Rd. 2 (45) LB Arthur Brown, Kansas St.

Rd. 3 (76) (Traded to Cleveland)

My thoughts: This would be a productive draft for the Chargers. It is looking more and more likely that Johnson will not get past Arizona at No. 7. The Chargers badly need a left tackle. I’d hate to see the Chargers give up two picks, (Kiper has them sending a third-round pick and an unidentified pick) but Johnson would fill a huge need. Brown is a hot name and he’d be a solid get at No. 45.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay conducted a conference call with several members of our blog network last week while I was on vacation. Even though I was not on the call, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert was gracious enough to ask a question for me.

I had Seifert ask McShay if he thought Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd or Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei would be a better fit for the Raiders. Both players are considered potential choices of Oakland with the No. 3 pick. Floyd has been most connected to Oakland, but Lotulelei could be a nice fit as well.

When McShay began to answer the question, he said Floyd probably would be a better fit for Oakland than Lotulelei, but McShay said he thinks Lotulelei is a better overall player and could fit the Raiders as well.

Floyd is considered a more natural 4-3 defensive tackle. However, McShay said he thinks Lotulelei can play the spot as well.

“Floyd probably makes more sense for Oakland, but not necessarily,” McShay said. “I think Floyd has a chance to be highly disruptive. But the lack of sack production is concerning considering how quick he is. Lotulelei is a much more dominant run-defender and he might, when it is all said and done, have greater sack production [than Floyd] although he does it in a different way.”

If Oakland agrees with McShay, Lotulelei may get a long look. Oakland has to score with this pick. And because the defense is being totally reconstructed, I think Oakland can be flexible and not worry as much about specific fit, but focus on overall impact.

AFC West links: Chief likes regime, new QB

April, 12, 2013
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Denver Broncos

The Denver Post's Jeff Legwold says don't look for the Broncos to use a fullback in the near future.

Apparently Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker are having a blast working out at Duke University. The team's website gives you an inside look, including shooting hoops at famed Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Kansas City Chiefs

The team's website continues its look at draft prospects with former Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson has high praise for the Chiefs' new regime and quarterback Alex Smith.

Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star says to expect the Chiefs to begin the regular season with a road game.

Oakland Raiders

Quarterback Vince Young "looked good" in his workout with the Raiders on Thursday, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

Prosecutors have decided not to file any charges against Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated last month.

Running back Rashad Jennings, who signed with the Raiders on Thursday, is looking to prove himself after averaging just 2.8 yards per carry last season in Jacksonville.

San Diego Chargers

The team's website profiles draft prospect Eric Reid, a free safety out of LSU.

For the third straight draft, a running back could join the Chargers in the late rounds, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Video: Todd McShay on Sharrif Floyd's tape

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
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ESPN Draft Insider Todd McShay breaks down Sharrif Floyd's tape and thinks he can step in and be a very disruptive pass-rusher in the NFL right now.

Oakland Raiders draft options

March, 30, 2013
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We have discussed extensively what the Kansas City Chiefs might do with the No. 1 pick. Now, leading up to the NFL draft (April 25-27), we will take deeper looks at possibilities for the three other teams in the AFC West. We start with the Oakland Raiders, who have the No. 3 overall selection:

Ansah
EZEKIEL ANSAH, DEFENSIVE END, BYU

Why is he a top prospect? He has a great combination of size, speed and athleticism and is a hard worker.

How would he help? The Raiders have a need at defensive end and he could be an immediate contributor.

What are the risks? Ansah will turn 24 in May and is still pretty raw. There are worries that the NFL game would be too big for him.

How he could be the choice: He’d probably be considered a surprise. He is looked at more as a top-10 selection, not a top-three choice. But if the Raiders think he is the best defensive end, he could be the pick.

Fisher
ERIC FISHER, LEFT TACKLE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Why is he a top prospect? He is a huge, athletic tackle who appears to be NFL-ready.

How would he help? He could be moved to right tackle and, along with left tackle Jared Veldheer, give Oakland a monstrous pair of bookend tackles.

What are the risks? Fisher comes from a small school and there is concern that NFL defensive ends could be too strong for him.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders are bent on working on the offensive line, he could be the pick.

Floyd
SHARRIF FLOYD, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, FLORIDA

Why is he a top prospect? Great athlete. He has all the tools. Scouts think he can be a dominant player.

How would he help? He would slide right into the middle of Oakland’s defensive line and become an anchor on a unit that is being rebuilt.

What are the risks? His game film didn’t always live up to the billing. He might look better than he plays.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe his ability is too much to pass up, and if he gets past the first two picks, I think Floyd can easily be the choice.

Joeckel
LUKE JOECKEL, LEFT TACKLE, TEXAS A&M

Why is he a top prospect? Ideal NFL left tackle. Hard worker, wants to be great.

How would he help? See Fisher.

What are the risks? Some worry that he might not be stout or mean enough to be a great NFL player.

How he could be the choice: Many think Joeckel is the best player available. If the Raiders agree and think he is too good to pass up at No. 3, he could be the choice.

Jones
JARVIS JONES, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER, GEORGIA

Why is he a top prospect? Many people think he is the most productive and dynamic pass-rusher available.

How would he help? The Raiders are begging for a pass-rusher. They badly need one.

What are the risks? There are medical concerns (Jones has suffered from a narrowing of the spine), and he doesn’t have ideal speed.

How he could be the choice: He will probably drop, so he could be an ideal choice if Oakland trades down.

Jordan
DION JORDAN, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER, OREGON

Why is he a top prospect? Great size and work ethic. Teams think he has a huge ceiling.

How would he help? Oakland needs great defensive players. Jordan could be one of the best players on this defense when he steps onto the field.

What are the risks? He might never reach his ceiling.

How he could be the choice: He is like Ansah -- a draft riser. But will he go as high as the third pick?

Lotulelei
STAR LOTULELEI, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, UTAH

Why is he a top prospect? Great numbers across the board and he produces on the field. Very disruptive.

How would he help? Like Floyd, he’d fill a huge void on a rebuilding defense.

What are the risks? Medical evaluations at the combine discovered a heart issue, but Lotulelei has since been cleared. Still, teams will worry about his long-term health.

How he could be the choice: If Oakland feels good about his health and thinks Lotulelei is a better fit than Floyd, he could be the pick.

Milliner
DEE MILLINER, CORNERBACK, ALABAMA

Why is he a top prospect? Many scouts think he is the best cornerback available. He has great speed.

How would he help? The Raiders are desperate for help at cornerback and Milliner could be a long-term solution.

What are the risks? Some scouts think that Milliner is not worth the No. 3 pick and that he might never become a great player.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe they must get a young player at this pivotal spot, they could look to Milliner.

Mingo
BARKEVIOUS MINGO, DEFENSIVE END, LSU

Why is he a top prospect? Classic pass-rusher. Long body, great athlete.

How would he help? Again, this team needs an impact pass-rusher.

What are the risks? He is raw and there is concern his great ability won’t translate to the NFL game.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders believe Mingo has greater upside than most of the players on this board, I can see the fit. But right now, taking him with the No. 3 pick might be high.

Smith
GENO SMITH, QUARTERBACK, WEST VIRGINIA

Why is he a top prospect? He is the best quarterback available in a weak class. He has a good skill set.

How would he help? If Carson Palmer is cut and if the Raiders don’t trade for Matt Flynn and if they don't believe Terrelle Pryor is a long-term answer.

What are the risks? Scouts worry he will never be exceptional. There are a lot of question marks.

How he could be the choice: If the Raiders fall in love, Smith will be a Raider. There is no more important position on the field -- even if it means Oakland takes Smith instead of filling other needs.
A look at some of the storylines that stood out most in the first day of free agency Tuesday:

Where’s the defense in Oakland? As of now, the Oakland Raiders have just three set starters on defense -- lineman Lamarr Houston, linebacker Miles Burris and safety Tyvon Branch. That’s scary. Yes, Oakland will add players and will field a defense, but that fact shows you how much work needs to be done.

Where’s the offensive line in San Diego? The San Diego Chargers’ offensive line is in just as bad a shape as Oakland’s defense. The team’s best offensive lineman, guard Louis Vasquez, defected to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. The Chargers might need to find starters everywhere on the line but center. They have to get to work, although new signee King Dunlap could be in the mix somewhere.

Another "dream team" for Reid? The Chiefs have been wildly busy all offseason. Some detractors are saying new Kansas City coach Andy Reid is taking the same “dream team” approach his Eagles took two years ago when they stockpiled many big-name free agents. It didn’t work. This is a much different approach. The Chiefs had to keep their top free agents, had to get a quarterback in Alex Smith and have added some key rotational players in free agency. There isn’t a ton of flash here. A solid roster is being built.

Vasquez's signing is big for Denver: Thus far, the Vasquez signing in Denver was the best work we've seen in the AFC West since the opening of free agency. He toughens the offensive line in Denver and makes it better. Vasquez and tackle Orlando Franklin on the right side are going to be a load in the running game. Plus, the signing hurt a division rival. Very solid move.

Lack of first-round impact hurts Oakland: The Raiders cut a pair of former first-round picks, safety Michael Huff (2006) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009), on Tuesday; linebacker Rolando McClain (2010) is expected to be cut soon. That would leave just running back Darren McFadden (2008) and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (2000) as the only Raiders first-round picks on the roster. That is not the way to build a team. The Raiders have the No. 3 pick in April's draft. They must get this one correct. Right now, I’d say the top options there are either Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd or Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.
It’s a big draft day at ESPN.com. Along with Todd McShay’s latest mock draft , Mel Kiper offers his newest big board .

There is a new name atop the board. Kiper has Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd at No. 1. Floyd is a great athlete who has been rising up the board.

He is considered a perfect fit for a 4-3 defense and a bit of a forced fit for a 3-4 at defensive end. So, I’m not sure if he will be in play for the Chiefs with the No. 1 pick. But he’d be a great fit for Oakland at No. 3 and a great value. McShay has him tabbed for the Raiders.

Kiper’s second player on the board, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, may be a better fit for the Chiefs. He’d fill a need (if, of course, the Chiefs don’t address it in free agency).

Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei is McShay’s choice for the Chiefs at No. 1. Kiper, though, has him at No. 12 on his big board.

In other AFC West news:

Football Outsiders believe the Chiefs’ decision to give left tackle Branden Albert the franchise tag was right on the money.
Perhaps no draft prospect is rising up the NFL draft boards faster than Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Floyd
He is a great athlete, he is coming off a great combine and teams think he can be the next great difference maker on the defensive line. The question is can he make his way all the way up to the No. 1 pick and the Kansas City Chiefs?

The Chiefs are wide open in their search for the top pick. Many options abound. I wonder if Floyd could be one of those options. Of course, with every prospect the Chiefs are considering there are fit questions.

Floyd is considered a traditional 4-3 defensive tackle. The Chiefs run a 3-4 defense. I asked Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. if he thinks Floyd could play in a 3-4 defense and fit with 2012 Kansas City first-round pick, defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

This is what Muench had to say: “Floyd has the athletic ability and enough size to play defensive end in a 3-4 so he and Poe can coexist. That said, Floyd can be a difference maker regardless of the scheme but I think he is a better fit playing defensive tackle in a base 4-3. While he has decent quickness for an end, he’s much more disruptive and his shorter arms aren’t as much of a concern on the inside.”

Thus, the concern is Floyd could be underutilized in the 3-4. The Chiefs just went through that with 2008 No. 5 overall pick Glenn Dorsey. He was a misfit in the 3-4 and he has had an underwhelming career. Dorsey is a free agent and he is expected to join a team that runs a 4-3 defense.

The No.1 pick can‘t be taken on a player who might be a forced fit in a system, so the idea of taking Floyd may be too risky for the Chiefs no matter how good he may be.

AFC West mock draft: Take III

February, 27, 2013
2/27/13
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With the NFL combine over, here is my third mock draft for AFC West teams' first-round picks. We will periodically update as we move closer to the April draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M. I don’t love this choice because I know the Chiefs are still interested in keeping free agent Branden Albert. But the Chiefs don’t have many clear-cut options. I think they could let Albert walk and draft Joeckel and use the money intended for Albert elsewhere. This is very much a fluid situation.

Previous pick: DL Star Lotulelei, Utah.

3. Oakland Raiders: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida. A lot of top defensive players had so-so efforts at the combine; Floyd, however, continued to impress. He plays a position at which Oakland badly needs help and has the physical ability to warrant this pick.

Previous pick: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M.

11. San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma. Johnson followed up a great week at the Senior Bowl with a strong showing at the combine; he is zooming up draft boards. Left tackle is the Chargers’ greatest need. This is a good fit.

Previous pick: Johnson.

28. Denver Broncos: LB Manti Te'o. I know Te’o didn’t have a great combine. He still has great tape. If it weren’t for the fake-girlfriend fiasco and a slow 40 time, Te’o would be considered a top-five pick talent on his college career. I know the Broncos are intrigued by Te’o. If he is the top talent on the board, Denver very well might take him.

Previous pick: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State.

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