The latest Fansided NFL mock draft has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Sharrif Floyd, defensive tackle from the University of Florida, with the 13th overall pick. A departure from the usual cornerback selection, the author of the mock draft had this to say:
Everyone seems to be mocking a cornerback here and while it’s not nearly a stupid as what Mel Kiper mocked (he penciled in Manti Te’o — pause for laughter), it’s a reach the Bucs won’t make. Mark Dominik doesn’t reach for players, case in point being his trading down to avoid Morris Claiborne and take Mark Barron last year. If the Bucs don’t trade down again and double dip on cornerbacks late in the first round (meaning they’d trade back into the end of the first to take a second corner), Sharrif Floyd is an instant upgrade. Gerald McCoy isn’t going to be out of a job but the Bucs employ a 4-3 defense and Roy Miller isn’t really cutting it right now. The attractive part about drafting Kenny Vaccaro in past mocks was his being paired with Mark Barron but if the Bucs can pair McCoy and Floyd on their defensive line, that’s a devastating first line of defense.
While I don’t appreciate my colleague Josh Hill calling a Manti Te’o selection stupid, as I believe it’s a viable option, the reasoning for selecting Floyd is valid. Floyd is a hard worker from a very difficult background who has faced trials in his life, and emerged as a young man his coaches can be proud of. He’s got no character issues apart from an investigation surrounding improper benefits as a college athlete, but these benefits seem to stem from a charitable family helping him out of his unfortunate origins.
On the field, Floyd is a massive young man who shows a good burst of athleticism as well. With the Buccaneers possibly allowing Roy Miller to walk, Floyd would bring a formidable partner for Gerald McCoy to line up alongside. As his CBS Sports Draft profile mentions, he has the strong lower body that is conducive to a solid run stuffer, and that would be a need if big Roy is not brought back to Tampa Bay.
For once, I believe the Fansided mock draft got it just right. Floyd would be a viable option for the Buccaneers at number 13. While the Buccaneers have other needs at other positions, sometimes its best to select the best player available. In this case, with Floyd fitting a need and being a top flight prospect, the Buccaneers could do both.