2012 NFL Draft: Michael Floyd Skipping Senior Bowl Will Cause ND Star to Fall

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 17, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Wide receiver Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fight Irish runs upfield against the Florida State Seminoles in the Champs Sports Bowl December 29, 2011 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.  FSU won 18 - 14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Michael Floyd is not a combine freak. If he's going to do anything to bolster his draft status, Floyd will need to do that in a game. That is why his decision to skip the Senior Bowl is confusing, and will ultimately cost Floyd on draft day. 

The No. 1 receiver in this year's draft is Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State. He is a Top 5 talent, and could easily go as high as No. 2. After Blackmon, the group of receivers is wide open.

Floyd is a part of the group that could be the second receiver taken. But by skipping the Senior Bowl, Floyd is passing on his last chance to stand out over the other elite receivers, like Alshon Jeffery and Kendall Wright. 

The next chance for Floyd to impress scouts will be at the combine. But there, workout drills like the 40-yard dash and vertical leap take precedence over pass catching and route running. 

Jeffery in particular will clearly outdo Floyd at the combine. The South Carolina star is the bigger of the two men and runs faster. At the combine, Jeffery will emerge as the clear No. 2 receiver in the draft. That is fine, as it's where he belongs. 

But Floyd skipping out on the Senior Bowl means he is forgoing his last chance to show scouts what he does best, play football. Look at his last two seasons at Notre Dame.

Season Catches Yards Touchdowns
2010 79 1025 12
2011 100 1147 9

Jeffery, on the other hand, had a poor 2011 season.

Catches Yards Touchdowns
49 762 8

This opportunity for Floyd is even better when you consider that Jeffery is a junior, he won't play in the Senior Bowl. Floyd passing on the chance to show what he can do on the field is a mistake.

That mistake will cost Floyd, and don't think that the Senior Bowl means nothing. As Joe Fortenbaugh of National Football Post detailed, the Senior Bowl has a history of helping people in the draft.

A successful week in Mobile can pay huge dividends on draft day. Just ask defensive end Brandon Graham (Michigan), who parlayed a solid week of practice coupled with earning the game’s MVP award into becoming the 13th overall selection (Philadelphia) back in 2010. Graham entered the event having to fight off questions about his size (6'1", 263) and used an eye-catching week of practice to impress NFL brass.

Floyd is the kind of player that can follow in Graham's footsteps. Playing in the Senior Bowl, he could easily leapfrog Jeffery as the No. 2 receiver. Even if he doesn't do that, there's a big question as to where the No. 3 receiver will be taken. 

Floyd could easily go anywhere from the Top 15, all the way down to bottom of the first round. With a good showing in the Senior Bowl, it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't go in the Top 15. Not playing in the Senior Bowl, Floyd is now making a late first-round pick a distinct possibility. 

The combine skills won't be there for Floyd to separate himself from anyone else. He needs to be on the field to do that, and is too far removed from his last game for scouts to use that in his favor over what other people do in the offseason.