Michael Floyd: 5 Biggest Pros and Cons of an NFL Draft Prospect
Speaking as a fan of Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon's, the decision between Blackmon and Floyd over the top wide receiver spot in this year's NFL draft is very difficult.
The bottom line is, there is very little you can isolate on the football field as weaknesses in either players' games. Both players' primary concerns are something a little more on the intangible side of things.
Let's take a look at Michael Floyd's game and see if we can evaluate what makes him so special, while nitpicking a little bit of his game.
Michael Floyd's size is a weapon, and he uses it beautifully. I always talk about size as a sword that cuts both ways. Michael Floyd's size cuts one way.
Size is almost paradoxical in a wide receiver. You want the receiver to be lengthy and strong at certain points of the catch, and short and shifty at other points of the catch. If you're big and you look big while you're running in the open field, cutting and accelerating, that will hurt you as a player.
On the other hand, you want to look big after the catch as a defensive back attempts to tackle you, and at the top of the catch as you reach up and try to find advantages over smaller players.
Striking a balance in this paradox is not easy, but Michael Floyd does it. He is 6'3" and 220 lbs, and yet there are parts of his route where you would swear he is smaller. You do not realize he is a big player.
Then, at other parts of the play, he will lengthen out as the ball arrives, or a smaller player will try and tackle him after the catch, and you are suddenly reminded that this is a 6'3" and 220 lbs player.
Cons: Character History
Whether it is fair or not to make judgments about Michael Floyd's character based on snapshots of his history, we are left with little choice in the matter.
The simple facts are what they are: Michael Floyd has been cited three times for alcohol-related incidents. He was cited twice for underage drinking and once for drunk driving.
This is going to make some evaluators nervous. Koren Robinson was a talented receiver who proved able to produce at the next level, but problems along these lines torpedoed his NFL career.
When they interview Floyd, teams are not going to want to hear that he just had some "bad luck" or made "a few poor choices". They are going to want to hear that he acknowledges he may have a problem and is in all earnestness seeking help for it.
Like it or not, that is the position in which he has put himself.
Pros: Quick Feet
I talked about Michael Floyd's size and how it shows up in his running after the catch. It was clear that he was an absolute load to bring down, and it helped him create those hard-earned extra yards that move the sticks and create touchdowns out of nothing.
But the quick feet he possesses factor even more in his highly impressive run-after-catch ability. The speed with which he gathers his feet under him as the ball comes in makes him very prepared to gain yards after the catch. This is a highly advanced ability for a receiver.
He also has an absolutely special ability to accelerate and switch gears. This shows up after the catch, but also in his routes as he is able to gear up and gear down in order to effectively fake the corner and then slip behind him.
This is truly a remarkable ability for a man who is 6'3" and 220 lbs.
Even to me, this criticism feels like a cop-out.
Every player in college football fights issues of consistency. Most players at the NFL level fight consistency issues. Whenever you ask a football player what he needs to improve upon, he will tell you his consistency, which is a way of saying he's perfectly talented and perfectly capable of doing everything ideally, but just needs to do it more often.
However, this criticism really does encapsulate the most maddening aspect of Michael Floyd's game on the football field. He has a tendency to leave you wanting to see more from him. The consistency is the problem.
He will run one route with perfect gearing that sees him accelerating beautifully right behind the corner coverage and catching a ball in the hole between the the cover two zones. Then, he'll run a route one-paced and end up not even competitive on the route.
He will flash the ability to go up for the football over the outside shoulder and make stupendous catches outside his frame with great body control, but then he does not quite get his feet in bounds.
This will definitely be the number one thing he needs to work on at the next level.
Pros: Body Control
As alluded to in talking about Floyd's consistency, Michael shows an ability to really rotate and control his body at the top of the catch.
You are left with the feeling that with a little more polish, he could be absolutely deadly on the perimeter catching footballs on the outside shoulder and back shoulder. His natural jumping ability will combine with his body control to make him a threat in the end zone.