<
>

Floyd overrated? Top 10? We'll soon know

4/10/2012

The business of prognosticating would be booming right now -- and many coaches and scouts would look a lot smarter -- if everything were an exact science. Which brings us to the case of Michael Floyd and the NFL draft.

On Monday, we linked to Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay saying on the the Scott Van Pelt Show that Floyd has been a late riser and could possibly land in the top 10 of the April 26 NFL draft.

Today, we bring you the opinion of another Scouts Inc. analyst, Kevin Weidl, who thinks Floyd may be overhyped just a bit in the weeks leading up to the draftInsider.

Let's be clear right off the bat that I like much of what Floyd brings to the table, and have for a long time. He has solid hands and very good body control. He has the size and strength to create late separation, tracks the deep ball well and is underrated in terms of run-after-catch ability. Floyd also answered questions about his top-end speed by running a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the combine, showing he can get on top of defenders and stretch the field, and brings added value as a strong run-blocker.

However, he is not very sudden in his routes and shows tightness in his hips, particularly when dropping his weight to get in and out of cuts. And despite his solid hands, he does let the ball get to his body at times and suffers some drops as a result. Those shortcomings aren't enough to push him out of the first round, but Floyd has been talked about as a possible top-10 overall pick and I just don't see it. He's not an elite, explosive threat like Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green or Julio Jones. The combine and a solid pro day are pushing Floyd a bit too high for my taste, and I feel much better about him in the 15-30 range.

And for what it's worth, I don't put Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon (6-0⅞, 207) in the top 10 overall, either. Blackmon ran in the mid-4.6 range at his pro day, but when I watch the tape I don't see much in the way of separation. He is similar to Floyd in terms of hands and body control, but to me Blackmon is more of an Anquan Boldin type whose skill set fits as a good No. 2 receiver in the NFL.

Of course, as we have already seen this week, there is always the other end of the spectrum. NFL.com's Gil Brandt speculated that Floyd could be the first receiver taken, ahead of Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon. And Bucky Brooks, in a video embedded in that link, invokes a Larry Fitzgerald comparison.

All of this is likely a roundabout way of saying that Floyd has improved his stock tremendously this past year. Just how much? We'll know soon.