Gators junior DT Sharrif Floyd turning pro. Says his coaches "felt it was best for me to go."— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) January 3, 2013
The Philadelphia native notched a career-high 13 tackles for loss this season, as well as posting 46 tackles, three sacks, six QB hurries and one forced fumble, via CFBStats.com. He anchored a defense that allowed just 3.07 yards per carry during the regular season, eighth in the nation.
The 6'3", 303-pounder is largely expected to be a first-round pick and is ranked as a top-25 prospect by Mel Kiper of ESPN.
Floyd joins his teammate first-team All-American Matt Elam, who will also declare for the draft.
Floyd has good quickness and a strong lower body, which is part of the reason he led Florida in tackles for loss this season despite a change in position. He's largely regarded as a one-way player right now and is effective against the run, but if he can ever improve his pass-rushing skills he could be something special.
Floyd was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 campaign for allegedly receiving $2,500 over a period of several months from an individual not associated with Florida, but he's since come back from that, and Florida's coaching staff praised him for being upfront and honest during the process (via USA Today Sports, h/t GreenvilleOnline.com). Anybody that says Floyd has character concerns doesn't know him very well.
The 20-year-old's character shows in the way he plays the game. He has a nonstop motor, consistently pursuing the ball-carrier. He'll get caught up in double-teams at times and perhaps needs to be more aggressive, but there is no doubting his determination and work ethic.
What you're looking at is a player who will immediately be able to help against the run and should have no trouble fitting in with his teammates. Whether he develops his pass-rushing ability will determine how much of an impact he has at the next level.