The SEC's 25 best players: No. 18

One of the toughest interior linemen to stop comes in next on our countdown of the 25 best players in the SEC from the 2012 season:

No. 18: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida, Jr.

2012 summary: Floyd finished the year with 46 total tackles, including 29 solo. The All-SEC first-team selection by the coaches and the Associated Press also led the Gators with 13 tackles for loss and registered three sacks. He also forced a fumble and blocked two kicks.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2012 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Floyd: Floyd was one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the SEC in 2012. After playing a year at defensive end, he made the move back to his more natural position at defensive tackle and was much more of a threat for the Gators up front. He started off slowly with his transition back to the interior part of the line, but once Floyd got going, he was a beast to take down. He's a thick body, but has very good quickness and punished linemen with his strength. He proved to be a very good run stopper for the Gators and also made time to harass quarterbacks in the process. He finished the year ranking fifth in the SEC with 13 tackles for loss, and while he didn't always make the immediate play, he had a tendency to alter plays by applying a lot of pressure to quarterbacks and running backs. His speed allowed him to cover a lot of ground in opposing backfields and it helped disrupt the timing of quarterbacks. Floyd didn't just do his work in the backfield, he had the speed to chase down plays when they broke past the line of scrimmage. He registered four or more tackles in eight games this season and his versatility up front has him poised to be a first-round pick in April's NFL draft.

The Rundown