- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at DT Sharrif Floyd.
41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 6 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick
Role in 2012: Floyd moved inside to tackle after spending the first two years of his career at end and was the Gators’ best defensive lineman by the end of the season.
The good: The coaching staff hoped that a return to tackle would allow the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Floyd to flourish, and that’s what happened. Floyd started off the season a bit slow, but he surged midway through the season as a disruptive force. He didn’t always make the tackle but he was in the backfield and forced ball carriers into other defenders. Floyd’s explosiveness, quickness and strength made him someone opponents had to double-team.
The bad: Not a whole lot to find wrong with the way Floyd played this season; he was pretty consistent. He wasn’t as dominant as he could have been against lesser opponents Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State, but he made plays in both games. The coaching staff might have been hoping for more sacks, but Floyd’s six QB hurries were second to DE Jonathan Bullard's seven.
Crystal ball: Floyd is shooting up NFL draft projections. Mel Kiper Jr., has him at No. 23 on his latest Big Board and Todd McShay has him No. 28. It’ll be hard for Floyd to pass up the chance to be a first-round pick, so it’s expected that he’ll forgo his final season at Florida. He plays a premium position and he’ll wow scouts with his quickness at workouts, so he could sneak into the top half of the draft.