Sharrif Floyd to Vikings: How Does the DT Fit with Minnesota?

Tim ArcandCorrespondent IApril 26, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Sharrif Floyd of the Florida Gators holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked #23 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Things worked in the favor of the Minnesota Vikings and general manager Rick Spielman in Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft. 

The Vikings had a need at defensive tackle. Since the departure of Pat Williams in 2010, the defense has fallen in its ability to defend the run. 

Sharrif Floyd led Florida with 13 tackles for a loss last season in his junior year. At 6'3" and 297 pounds, he comes from the same mold as Williams.  Floyd will almost certainly take over the top of the depth chart, starting on the front four, lining up next to Kevin Williams. The move will push Letroy Guion out of the starting lineup and into a reserve role, where is he better suited to contribute.

The role is reversed for Kevin Williams. In 2005, he was the young player learning from Pat Williams, the veteran who joined the Vikings at the age of 33.  Now Kevin Williams, the oldest player on the Vikings roster who turns 33 in August, will be the mentor for Floyd.

According to Walter Football, who ranks the Florida Gator as the best defensive tackle in the draft, Floyd was the top three-technique tackle available. Along with his size, he has good speed to the point of attack.

At the NFL combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds, with a 30" vertical jump and a 106" in the broad jump. At Florida he was very versatile, playing every position along the defensive line.

With Jared Allen and Brian Robison on the ends, and six-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams next to him, Floyd will be able to make an immediate impact on the defensive line.

Unlikely to face any double teams (at first), he will be able to use his size and leverage to penetrate into the backfield. Once teams decide they need to provide some additional help to the inside, it will open things up for Allen and Robinson.

Even though the Vikings had the ability to rebuild the "Williams Wall" with the selection of Sylvester Williams from North Carolina, they got a better player in Floyd.  Matt Miller, lead NFL draft writer for B/R, had Sylvester Williams ranked 51st overall in his big board, while Floyd was ranked fourth. 

The Vikings defense found another starter in Floyd, and they have a chance to crack the top 10 in rushing defenses with him playing alongside Allen, Williams and Robison.