Could Floyd be first WR drafted?

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
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Justin Blackmon has 19 more catches than Michael Floyd this season. The Oklahoma State junior has 207 more receiving yards than Floyd. And Blackmon has twice as many touchdown receptions.

But could Floyd surpass Blackmon in this year's NFL Draft? From Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench (Insider):
With the Fighting Irish dropping their first two games and Floyd's production dipping a bit, it's easy to see why he's not alongside Blackmon in the Heisman race. However, the argument could be made that Floyd is the better NFL prospect.

It all starts with size. Floyd (6-foot-3, 229 pounds) is two inches taller and 18 pounds heavier than Blackmon (6-1, 211). Most receivers Floyd's size don't have great foot speed, but he is agile enough to get a clean release at the line of scrimmage and quickly start building speed with his long strides. Floyd also has the long arms, body control and big hands to make spectacular catches in jump-ball situations.

He isn't as crisp in his routes as Blackmon, but Floyd is athletic enough to improve in that area, and he has an even bigger frame to box out defenders when he's unable to separate. He runs hard after the catch as well, and has enough top-end speed to rip of a chunk of yards when he gets a seam.

As Muench notes in his post, which can be found here, there are other factors working against Floyd, such as his off-field history and his quarterback's play (at least in relation to the Cowboys' Brandon Weeden.)

It is an interesting debate. Floyd is currently No. 21 on Scouts Inc.'s Top 32. Blackmon is No. 8. Floyd isn't even on Mel Kiper's Big Board, while Blackmon is No. 5.

And then, of course, there's the scenario in which Blackmon doesn't even declare for the draft, though that seems unlikely given his current stock. Regardless, a strong finish these past three (and likely four) games could mean a big payday for Floyd in the near future.

Matt Fortuna | email

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