Over at PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Greg Cosell and Adam Caplan have been breaking down film of the top prospects at each position group, and they do a tremendous job. When they looked at the defensive tackles, Cosell said that he thought Sharrif Floyd might be the best player in this year’s draft:
I love Sharrif Floyd. I knew his story but I didn’t know much about him as a player other than seeing some Saturday afternoon football. So I put the tape in, and I gotta tell you, he was off the charts. He basically played 3-technique, which means he lines up between the tackle and the guard. He was an explosive athlete. He’s what I call a tackle for loss player. He got into the backfield and made plays in the backfield. I think he’s arguably the best player in the draft, not just the best defensive tackle.
Cosell was then asked if he bought the comparison of Floyd to Warren Sapp:
Well the style of play is similar, yes, because he’s a 3-technique, with great penetration ability, and he gets into the backfield. That’s what Warren Sapp did in his prime. So as styles of play, yeah, it’s similar.
The Raiders’ defense was cleaned out this offseason by GM Reggie McKenzie, and some are wondering if his job is safe. Here is what the Raiders’ defense looked like on opening day last season, and what it looks like now:
That kind of turnover is insane, but I happen to admire what McKenzie has done. When people talk about “rebuilding,” this is what that really means. The Raiders have been run horribly over the last decade, and McKenzie’s first order of business was to clean up the cap hell that Al Davis put them in. And he has. Take a look at how much money the Raiders have committed to the 2014 salary cap, in comparison to the rest of the AFC (data acquired via overthecap.com, as of April 15):
For the first time in recent memory, the Raiders will have the flexibility to do whatever they need from a financial standpoint. They are currently almost like an expansion team, which isn’t a terrible thing, frankly.
Step 2 for McKenzie will of course be to find good players in the draft, something that he has not had a reasonable chance to do just yet.
Sharrif Floyd’s fit at #3 overall is obvious. The Raiders lost their top 3 defensive tackles this offseason in Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, and Desmond Bryant. Insert Floyd, and begin to build your defense around him.