Notre Dame's Michael Floyd opened several eyes at the NFL Scouting Combine, and when the NFL Draft rolls around, he will be selected in the top 10.
Scouts knew about his ideal size (6'3") and leaping ability (36.5" vertical), but those measurables just make the 40-yard dash time even more impressive.
Floyd ran a speedy 4.47 at the combine. He was one of only three receivers standing 6'3" or taller to run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash (6'4" Stephen Hill 4.36 Georgia Tech and 6'5" Tommy Streeter 4.4 Miami being the others).
Of those receivers, Floyd is by far the most accomplished in other vital areas of the position.
This was huge for Floyd, because speed was thought to be his weakness. NFL.com wrote this blurb as a description of Floyd's shortcomings:
Floyd does not have game-breaking speed as a deep threat, and consistency has been somewhat of a concern as a senior. Prior injuries could raise somewhat of a red flag along with various off-field issues.
Field speed is certainly different than track speed, but with his size, whatever the 4.47 translates to on the field, should be more than sufficient.
Floyd is tough and, at Notre Dame, he already displayed the willingness and ability to go over the middle and be a threat in the red zone.
In 2011, Floyd had 100 receptions for the Irish, 1174 yards and nine TDs. He had 61 receptions for first downs, and five red-zone TD's.
Add into that package the speed to stretch the defense, and you have a player worthy of a top-10 selection.
The combine performance solidifies him as the Draft's second best receiver behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.
Some scouts may even favor Floyd after this workout, as Blackmon has some concerns about his speed. He did nothing to dispel those concerns as he chose not to run at the combine.
Floyd is bigger than Blackmon (6'1") as well. There are teams that will covet Floyd's combintion of size and speed, and they may value him more than Blackmon.
Here are some teams that may select Floyd, or even trade up for his services:
Jacksonville Jaguars - 7th Overall Pick
The Jags need a major weapon for Blaine Gabbert. It is the only way they will ever be able to accurately assess him as a QB. Floyd's size and physical ability make him an attractive safety net for a young QB. The Jaguars could draft him at number seven.
Philadelphia Eagles - 15th Overall Pick
Philly will likely have to trade up to get Floyd. Mike Vick has had diminutive receivers throughout his time with the Eagles. DeSean Jackson is a free agent, and a big target like Floyd should be inviting for the Eagles.
They certainly have needs at LB, but Floyd helps them as well. They could package this pick and a second rounder to move into the top 10 to grab Floyd.
Chicago Bears - 19th Overall Pick
Jay Cutler wants and needs a receiver with some size; Floyd could provide that. I've seen a few mock drafts that had the Bears taking Floyd at 19, but that was before his combine performance.
Now, the Bears would need to trade up to get him as he won't slip to 19.
Chicago would have to do something similar to the Eagles to get him, but it would make sense, as the Bears' biggest need is at receiver.
We will see what happens, but Floyd helped himself as much as any player at the combine in 2012.
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