Miami Dolphins Draft 2012: 5 Reasons Miami Should Consider Michael Floyd
In honor of Michael Floyd's pre-draft workout in Miami, it's time to take a look at some of the major reasons why the Dolphins should consider him with their eighth-overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Floyd is considered a potential pick for Miami in this draft, and some fans have really gotten behind the idea.
He'd be a huge pickup for a team that's minus one primary receiver following a self-inflicted offseason loss. Whatever the justification, Miami will need to address this concern if its offense is to have any kind of productive future.
So, let us look over some of the reasons why drafting Floyd is the right choice for Miami.
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Jimmy Clausen was the quarterback for Floyd's first two seasons with the Fighting Irish.
In 2007, and before Floyd's arrival, Clausen was still inexperienced, and Golden Tate had yet to emerge. Thus, Notre Dame had an atrocious offense that year.
It wasn't until 2008 when Clausen started looking like a premier talent, and the biggest on-the-field change between '07 to '08 was the full-time presence of Tate and Floyd. Suddenly, that passing offense would shoot up from 110th in the nation to 34th in only one year.
In 2009, Floyd's presence continued to help Clausen become one of the best passers in the nation. Clausen would end the year second in passer rating, fifth in passing yards and fourth in completion percentage.
Clausen, the former Carolina Panthers' starter benched for Miami's Matt Moore when they were there together, was turned into a star college quarterback with Floyd nearby, and, while it'd be naive to hand all the credit to Floyd, you can't help but wonder—if Floyd's presence could help Clausen like that, how much could it help Moore?
Flux of Quarterbacks in College
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Floyd has been on the receiving end of three different quarterbacks across his four years of college.
In his first two years, he had to compete with the chemistry between Clausen and Tate and still managed to combine for over 1,500 yards.
In 2010, Floyd managed to earn 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns split between two different quarterbacks. He had shown some good, early chemistry with Dayne Crist, but, when an injury took Crist out for the season, Floyd's numbers managed to coast with only a slight drop in production with the backup Tommy Rees.
Then, in 2011, Rees returned, and it was a highly productive season for Floyd. Floyd reached new career highs in yards and receptions and ranked eighth in the nation with 100 catches.
This attests to Floyd's ability to adjust to change. Honestly, with Miami's uncertainty at the quarterback position, concerns on the offensive line and a rushing attack that could be different in a year, it only seems progressive to lock up a long-term wide receiver that can adapt to any of the new, unforeseeable changes in the Dolphins' future.
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Floyd brings in those attributes you just can't coach.
He's big, strong, fast and feisty. He fights defenders for the ball, makes spectacular catches and puts up a strong, physical effort after the catch for extra yards.
Granted, the system Joe Philbin is implementing with his receivers heavily resembles what's going on with the Green Bay Packers, and Floyd doesn't exactly resemble any specific Green Bay receiver (maybe James Jones). However, that doesn't mean he's without a role on this team.
If the strategy is to create mismatches using your receiver's individual strengths, wouldn't a guy like Floyd excel in that system? He'd be a match-up nightmare for most one-on-one cornerbacks. The speedier ones will have to deal with his physicality and the stronger ones will have to contend with his quickness.
Plus, he's got the assets to be a great run blocker, which is a huge perk to Miami's present offensive set-up.
Brian Hartline and Davone Bess
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For the record, Hartline and Bess have been admirable for this team over the years, but they absolutely cannot carry this offensive load alone.
There is a reason Brandon Marshall was in the Pro Bowl last season. Despite all the dropped passes and lingering drama, he was a large part of Miami's passing offense. Marshall owned over a third of the team's receiving yards, nearly 30 percent of the team's receptions and was targeted nearly as much as Hartline and Bess combined.
That is production this unit cannot give the passing offense right now, and the options in free agency that could replace it are all reminders of Marshall.
As far as adding Legedu Naanee is concerned, he is a great add, but what's his worth? He's another average receiver among other average receivers. Cam Newton threw for over 4,000 yards last season, and, as the No. 2 receiver on the team (at least at one point), Naanee was fourth in receiving with only 467 yards and was second in targets.
Don't expect these guys alone to create too many mismatches against quality secondaries.
Marvin Harrison, Calvin Johnson and Roddy White
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This isn't to suggest that Floyd is going to be the next Harrison. It's not even suggesting he specifically resembles any one of these guys. It's simply evidence of what a quality wide receiver can be for the future of a team before acquiring the quarterback.
Most wide receivers need an adjustment period in the NFL, and it is better for first-rounders to develop without the presence of that star quarterback adding pressure to be an impact weapon right away.
Harrison had two years of growth before Peyton Manning showed up, and the guy that never had more than 866 yards in his first three seasons shot up to 1,663 yards by Manning's second season.
White would eventually shake off his career's early struggles to become the crucial piece in Matt Ryan's rookie season success.
Johnson's rookie season gave hope of greatness, and, now, he's only looked better with Matt Stafford passing to him.
On top of that, a developed wide receiver is a huge asset to a quarterback (rookie or other) transitioning into a starting spot.
Matt Schaub joined Houston with Andre Johnson, and they became a potent pass attack not long after. When Tom Brady took over the New England Patriots, he had Troy Brown there to help his transition. Aaron Rodgers finally got his opportunity to start in 2008 and already had quality receivers (Donald Driver and Greg Jennings) in place and waiting for him.
This example is definitely speculative and circumstantial, but it's hard to deny the track record. If Miami starts putting the pieces in place now (starting with Floyd), they could have a winning combination ready within the next two seasons.