2012 NFL Draft: Scouting Michael Floyd, Search for Miami Dolphins No. 8 Pick

Robert HoffmanCorrespondent IApril 21, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Scouting Michael Floyd, Search for Miami Dolphins No. 8 Pick

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    This is the third scouting report in looking at potential selections of the Miami Dolphins with the No. 8 pick in Thursday night's draft.

    You can click on my profile of University of North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples here or my report on Stanford guard David DeCastro here.

    Originally, the plan was to look at six players I believed the Miami Dolphins were considering with their selection at pick eight. However, I believe Iowa tackle Riley Reiff will ultimately slip based on concerns that he might only play right tackle in the NFL.

    That leaves us with three more players most likely to earn the title future Miami Dolphin, providing of course that the team from South Florida does not trade up or down and keeps their assigned pick.

    This scouting report will analyze Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd who has drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver Dwayne Bowe with his physical skills and big play ability.

Athletic Ability

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    Floyd is a very good all-around athlete especially for someone who goes 6'3", 230 pounds. He does not have an exceptional burst of the line of scrimmage and will often try to beat a press receiver by pumping his feet for a move or using his arms for position.

    He takes awhile to build up to speed, although there are indications that he has plenty of top-end speed. For example, in Notre Dame's loss to Stanford in 2011, after the Irish threw an interception away from Floyd, he came all the way across the field in a dead sprint to knock down the Cardinal defensive back.

    Where Floyd really excels is with coordination and body control. He's an immediate redzone threat for the team that drafts him because he knows how to shield the defender away from the ball.

    His route-running is pretty solid and he will be exceptional on the shorter patterns that a West Coast Offense will feature.

    Grade: 6.8

    One again the scale is from 1.0 (unacceptable) to 7.0 (Elite) 

2. Competitiveness

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    Floyd is a tough receiver and he could be even more of a fighter at the position given time and proper motivation. Floyd will fight for the ball along the sideline and is not afraid to go over the middle, which separates him from other highly-rated receivers.

    In the play pictured, the Fighting Irish were down by 21 to Stanford in the fourth quarter and Floyd created just enough room to make the catch before spinning into the endzone and making sure to get one foot in-bounds. In other words, he doesn't quit and uses a great combination of body control and physical skills to make plays.

    You are not going to shoulder tackle Michael Floyd. He's too strong and cornerbacks would be well advised to wrap up.

    He should give more effort as a blocker and is particularly suspect in this part of his game when the play is designed to go away from him.

    Grade: 6.7

3. Mental Alertness

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    Floyd has a very good understanding of what is expected of him. He snares the ball and puts it away. Floyd improved as a blocker from 2010 to 2011. Notre Dame lines Floyd up outside and in the slot, which means the coaching staff trusts him to run virtually any pattern and take advantage of match-ups or, put more appropriately, mismatches.

    Coaches may prefer that he doesn't dance as much at the line of scrimmage and that he continues to use his arms to beat press coverage.

    One thing that I really like about Floyd is that he usually catches the ball in stride even without the best throws from a series of Notre Dame quarterbacks.

    Grade: 6.9

4. Strength and Explosion

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    Floyd has both assets and concerns in this area. He has prototypical size and strength. Just ask defensive backs how physical Floyd can be when he engages them and is determined to break free.

    His ability to play off of jams and force defensive backs to play with cushion makes him literally indefensible on quick outs and comeback routes.

    Floyd's durability is a huge concern. He broke his collarbone in 2009 and has played dinged up through most of his collegiate career. Furthermore, Floyd has suffered injuries to his knees and while he appears to be fully healthy right now, the residual impact of those injuries should be carefully monitored as his career progresses.

    With that being said, Floyd holds Notre Dame's career records for receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and 100-yard games. He plays through a lot of his minor injuries and seems committed to the game.

    Earlier I suggested Floyd lacks explosion, which is only partially true. While he lacks explosion off the snap, once he pulls even with the defensive back down the field he does have a burst to separate.

    Grade: 6.4

Overall

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    It's not hard to see why Floyd has drawn comparisons to Dwayne Bowe with his big, strong frame and big-play ability.

    Fortunately and somewhat unfortunately he draws some comparisons to another NFL star, Brandon Marshall.

    You know the guy who just got shipped out of Miami for a pair of third-round draft picks despite being the Dolphins' best receiver.

    Floyd shares Marshall's physical ability to beat jams and break tackles once he has the ball and would not be a surprise for the latter to put up some significant yard after catch numbers as a rookie.

    However, Floyd has had a problem off the field with three alcohol-related incidents

    I have to imagine he might already be under the watchful eye of the commissioner's office. While Marshall's off the field troubles might be different, the parallels in their lack of judgment is troubling.

    Overall Grade: 6.65

    How he fits with the Dolphins:

    It's hard to imagine that Miami, just over a month removed from bidding adieu to Marshall, would bite at Floyd at eight. In addition, this year's receiver class is arguably the deepest of any position in this year's draft which means that the Dolphins could pick up a quality receiver later on in the selection process.

    In my opinion, the only way Floyd is drafted by Miami is if the Dolphins were to trade down or their grade on Floyd was far superior to the players left on the board when the team selects.