Michael Floyd

Draft Grades: Arizona Cardinals

This was a bold draft for the Arizona Cardinals, who acted more like a team on the verge of contention than one in rebuilding mode. It’s a fine strategy if Kevin Kolb works out, but if their quarterback situation remains a question mark, this could set them back.

Michael Floyd was a luxury pick, but does give Larry Fitzgerald the support he needs. It also shifts Early Doucet back into the slot receiver role, which is a better fit for his skill set.

I like the selection of Jamell Fleming inthe 3rd round. He’ll add some much-needed depth to the secondary and potentially compete for more serious playing time as the season wears on.

The Cardinals should have addressed their offensive line issues before the 4th round. Bobby Massie is a right tackle or a guard, and doesn’t provide them a clear upgrade at any position.

Senio Kelemete may compete for a starting job at either right or left guard, but won’t be a significant upgrade at either position. If he wins a starting job, it will likely be by default, more than the fact that he’s actually ready for the NFL.

Justin Bethel is a nice developmental prospect who could potentially play cornerback or safety. He’ll likely contribute on special teams early while they develop him on defense.

Throwing Ryan Lindley into the mix at quarterback doesn’t really solve any problems. Lindley is a developmental prospect with all the NFL measurables, but accuracy has always been an issue for him.

Nate Potter can play tackle or guard and will compete for a backup job.

This wasn’t one of Rod Graves better draft classes. They could potentially come away with three immediate starters (Floyd, Massie, Kelemete) but that speaks more to the lack of depth on the current roster than the strength of this class.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Cardinals, Draft Grades - 2012 1 Comment

Arizona Cardinals select Michael Floyd, Grade B

Very interesting pick by the Arizona Cardinals. In terms of value, Michael Floyd makes sense. He’s a solid mid-1st-round prospect and gives Kevin Kolb another legitimate target.

However, I’m not crazy about how he fits in Arizona. He’s not a guy who can stretch the field and Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t really do that at this stage in his career either. There is no doubt in my mind he’ll make an impact, so I still give it a solid B, but I probably would have addressed the offensive line or added a pass rusher with this selection. It sort of feels like a luxury pick for a team that can’t really afford one.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Cardinals Comments Off

Titans looking to draft a receiver?

When healthy, Kenny Britt is a legitimate No. 1. But the Tennessee Titans may be looking for some insurance behind Britt, who is coming off a devastating season-ending knee injury.

The Titans have met with Michael Floyd and Alshon Jeffery, both of whom will be either 1st or 2nd round picks.

It may be tough for the Titans to land Floyd, who will likely be gone before the Titans are on the clock. Jeffery, however, could be an option in either the 1st or 2nd round.

It’s worth noting that both Floyd and Jeffery are considered possession receivers, and have to the ability to fight for the ball in traffic. Targeting this type of receiver makes sense if the Titans plan to use second-year quarterback Jake Locker for the majority of the 2012 season.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Titans Comments Off

Panthers targeting receiver in 1st round?

Most mock drafts have the Carolina Panthers matched up with a defensive lineman in the 1st round, but their recent pre-draft visits may indicate another strategy.

Visits don’t necessarily translate to genuine interest in a player but when teams take a closer look at multiple players at the same position, that’s usually a good indication of where their interests lie.

The Panthers have already arranged visits with Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright – the only three consensus 1st-round receivers.

This certainly doesn’t mean the Panthers are locked in to this approach – they’ve also visited two two potential top-10 defensive linemen – but it does indicate they’re at least entertaining the idea of upgrading the talent around Cam Newton.

Personally, I think it would be a wise choice. After spending two 3rd-round picks on defensive tackles in 2011, there’s no need to bring in another rookie so soon. This is Cam Newton’s team, and they would be wise to give him all the support he needs to flourish.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Panthers 2 Comments

5 Players with the most at stake at Combine

1. Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina
Jeffery has been battled weight issues throughout his career and, as a result, some believe he lacks the explosion to separate from coverage at the next level. He’s had plenty of time to get into shape since the season ended, so if he fails to demonstrate adequate athleticism and agility at the combine, it will raise some red flags which could send him tumbling down draft boards.

2. Janoris Jenkins – CB – North Alabama
We know Jenkins can play – we saw that at the Senior Bowl – but can will anyone be willing to take a chance on his character? He’ll be high on the list of guys teams are most interested in speaking with at the combine and he will need to be prepared to answer some difficult questions about the issues which led to his dismissal from Florida.

Floyd's injury history and alcohol issues will be under scrutiny in Indy

3. Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame
While Floyd is coming off a strong senior year, he has a long history of both character and injury concerns. He missed time in 2008 (knee injury) and 2009 (collarbone) and was involved in multiple alcohol-related run-ins with the law during his collegiate career. As a result, his medical check-up and his interviews will be crucial in determining his place on draft boards.

4. Quentin Coples – DE – North Carolina
From the standpoint of pure athleticism, Coples may be the most talented player in this year’s draft class. But his production on the field rarely showed that ability, especially during his senior year. Teams will be interested to hear his explanation for his disappearing act. Does he take responsibility for his failures? Or does he blame it on others?

5. Vontaze Burfict – LB – Arizona State
Like Coples, Burfict clearly has the raw talent to play at the next level. However, he consistently found himself struggling to handle the mental side of the game. Burfict should be prepared for some difficult questions during the interview process. Teams may try to rile him up to see just how he reacts under pressure. Teams will also be interested to hear him explain away his numerous unsportsmanlike conduct penalties over the  years, and will be hoping to hear him take responsibility for his actions.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Jaguars Offseason Priority: Find a No. 1 Receiver

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense struggled in 2011, that’s no secret.

Much of the blame was placed on rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, but a closer look at some advanced statistics reveals that perhaps Gabbert was simply a victim of poor play from his receivers.

AdvancedNFLStats.com tracks the Win Probability Added (WPA) of each play throughout the season, and assigns the final WPA to each player involved. Over the course of the season, they also track a stat called Success Rate, which is simply the percentage of plays resulting in a positive WPA.

On any given play, the reason for the positive or negative WPA could be attributed to any number of players. As a result, Success Rate should certainly be taken with a grain of salt. However, over the course of the season one would expect the numbers to even out to a fairly accurate representation of a player’s true value. If you’re wondering if this stat passes the “eye test” here are the top three receivers for 2011: Marques Colston (71.4%), Wes Welker (66.2) and Jorday Nelson (65.7).

This stat also confirms that the Jaguars have a very serious issue on their hands at wide receiver. In 2011, the Jaguars three primary targets – Mike Thomas, Jason Hill and Jarett Dilliard – each ranked among the 14 worst receivers in terms of success rate. And only Eddie Royal struggled more than Thomas and Hill.

One could still argue that these low numbers are a result of poor quarterback play. But if that’s the case, we should see similarly poor success rates from the receivers of quarterbacks with similar statistics to Gabbert. According to WPA, the three worst quarterbacks this past year were Gabbert, Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. However, only one of the qualifying receivers in St. Louis and New York, ranked worse than any of the Jaguars three primary targets (St. Louis’ Brandon Lloyd, 42.0%)

So with this in mind, how should the Jaguars approach the draft?

While they certainly have other holes to fill as well, it would be tough to justify not putting a wide receiver at the top of their draft wish list.

Justin Blackmon – who I currently have heading to Jacksonville in my latest mock draft – would seem to be an obvious choice if he’s on the board at No. 7. But what if he’s gone?

One option, in the event that Blackmon appears unlike to fall, would be to trade up. Here’s one plausible scenario: the Redskins trade up to No. 2 and select Robert Griffin. This leaves the Browns without the quarterback they covet, making them a candidate to trade down. The Jaguars could then jump the Rams, who would be at No. 6, and move up to No. 4 for Blackmon, likely parting with a 2nd-round pick in the process.

The second option would be to settle for the next best receiver, either Michael Floyd or Kendall Wright. Both would be a slight reach at No. 7, but could be worth it to fill a glaring hole.

The third option is to trade down in hopes of landing Floyd or Wright later in the 1st round. The Cowboys could be a potential trading partner, who may be interested in moving up for Dre Kirkpatrick.

For the same of Jaguars fans, I hope GM Gene Smith address this need in free agency, or in the 1st round. Because if he doesn’t, you know that some small school sleeper will land in Jacksonville in the 2nd or 3rd round and, like Cecil Shorts this past season, will likely have minimal immediate impact.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Jaguars Comments Off

49ers in market for “big stature receiver”

The 49ers ended the season with three active receivers, one of which is now the least popular man in San Francisco. So it comes as no surprise that Jim Harbaugh wants to address the position this offseason.

Following the season, Harbaugh spoke about the issues at receiver and lamented the failure of Braylon Edwards. He stated “we were looking for that big stature receiver” when acquiring Edwards, but due to injuries and ineffectiveness he was released midseason.

Fortunately for the Niners, there are a number of “big stature” receivers who should come off the board in the first few rounds. Here are

Michael Floyd, Notre Dame [scouting report] – There’s a good chance Floyd will be off the board by the time the 49ers are on the clock, but if they’re serious about addressing this concern they may consider trading up. Aside from Justin Blackmon, Floyd is the most well-rounded receiver in this year’s class.

Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina [scouting report] – Jeffery’s stock has fallen dramatically this season, but could still be an option in the late 1st round for the 49ers. His inconsistent play may scare some teams off, but he has the skill set to make an immediate impact in the red zone which is what the 49ers really need.

Dwight Jones, North Carolina [scouting report] - Like Jeffery, Jones has some issues with consistency, but at 6’4″ he could be a relatively cheap option for them in the late 2nd round. He won’t challenge Michael Crabtree for the role of No. 1 receiver any time soon, but if they’re primarily interested in a red-zone threat, Jones could be a good fit.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, 49ers 2 Comments

Evaluating the top receivers in 2012 draft class

I’ve spent some time over the past couple days going over the top receivers in this year’s draft class. There are five guys who clearly stand out above the rest and, barring any dramatic events in the upcoming months (arrests, injuries, etc), I’ve setting on my rankings for each.

1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Blackmon is the obvious top choice. He’s a physical freak who has the size and speed to dominate from Day One. The only thing that can keep Blackmon from developing into a Pro Bowl receiver is himself. He was arrested on a DUI charge in 2010, and his effort on the field hasn’t always been 100%. But he appeared to step up his game in 2011, staying out of trouble and staying more focused on the field.

Wright is a legitimate top-20 talent

2. Kendall Wright, Baylor
Michael Floyd and Alshon Jeffery have been No. 2 on most boards throughout the season, but after watching Wright dominate in some of his toughest matchups this season (vs Oklahoma, Texas), I’m bumping him up into this slot. Five years ago it would have been tough to rank Wright this high. But the NFL passing game has been changing in recent years and we’re seeing more undersized receivers emerge as a legitimate No. 1 targets (Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, etc). Wright has all the tools necessary to join that group and be a game-changer at the next level.  Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Michael Floyd scouting report

Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame #3
Ht: 6’3″Wt: 230
Strengths:
Prototypical height for a No. 1 receiver. Elite overall size and strength. A tough, physical receiver. Willing to go across the middle. Shows great body control. Does a nice job using his body to shield defenders. Excels at adjusting to the ball in the air; able to go up and pluck the ball out of the air. Decent leaping ability. A tough matchup for smaller DBs, especially in the red zone. Surprisingly effective running after the catch; a tough runner who isn’t afraid of contact. Coming off a strong senior year.
Weaknesses:
Speed is limited; won’t shake many corners at the next level and will have to fight for every catch – but he has the size and strength to do so. Blocking needs to improve; has the size to be effective but is inconsistent. Serious character concerns; arrested three times for alcohol related offenses, including a drunken driving arrest prior to senior year. Missed time with a knee injury in 2008. Missed majority of 2009 season with broken collarbone.
Comments:
Floyd has the physical tools to be a No. 1 receiver at the next level, but there are serious off-field concerns. His repeated alcohol-related arrests raise a serious red flag that will need to be investigated thoroughly before a team spends a 1st or 2nd round pick on him. Additionally, he suffered two significant injuries which each caused him to miss multiple games. For a player lacking speed already, the knee injury raises more red flags. Entering his senior year there were legitimate question marks about him being a viable top-50 pick, but he answered those concerns with a strong senior year. If teams are comfortable with the injury situation and off-field issues, he is definitely 1st-round material. He reminds me of Anquan Boldin in terms of his efficient route running and tough, physical play which makes up for a lack of elite speed.
Videos:
2011 vs Stanford
2011 vs South Florida

2010 vs Miami FL (bowl game)
2009 vs Michigan 

 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

What does Michael Floyd’s future look like?

After his arrest on Sunday for “operating a vehicle while intoxicated” Notre Dame has suspended star receiver Michael Floyd indefinitely, putting his future with the program in jeopardy.

There’s a chance that Floyd will eventually be dismissed from the program which could create some problems for him in terms of his immediately playing future.

Floyd may end up playing at the FCS or D-II level in 2011

Normally Floyd could enter the supplemental draft and be in an NFL camp by August. However, the lockout calls into question whether or not a supplemental draft will even happen. According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, some sources say even the NFL doesn’t know what will happen to the supplemental draft.

If there is no mid-summer draft Floyd may be forced to transfer to a FCS or D-II school, where he would be eligible to play immediately. He would undoubtedly dominate the competition at the level, which could help revive his stock.

According to Scott Wright of DraftCountdown.com, the NFL advisory committee gave Floyd a 3rd-round grade before he ultimately decided to return to school. In this year’s draft class Floyd may have actually gone higher, simply due to the lack of depth in the wide receiver class.

If Floyd remains at Notre Dame, he’ll enter the 2011 season as the consensus top-rated senior receiver. However, at least three juniors (Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery and Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu) would have higher grades. With a solid year he could establish himself as a 2nd-round pick, but may have a hard time climbing up in the 1st-round range if those juniors turn pro.

If Floyd does wind up in the supplemental draft, he won’t cash in like he may have with a breakout senior year at Notre Dame. In the past decade just three teams have used a 3rd-round pick or higher in the summer draft.

Nothing is guaranteed in the supplemental draft. Take Jared Gaither for example. He was easily the most highly rated supplemental draft prospect of the past five years, yet the Ravens only needed to use a 5th-round pick to land him. He’s developed into a Pro Bowl caliber tackle, but he missed out on a potential 1st-round pay day had he stayed at Maryland for his senior year.

Ultimately it’s too early to know where Floyd may wind up in 2011, but it’s safe to say nothing good can come from this development.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Supplemental Draft Comments Off