As the 2013 NFL Draft approaches, the Oakland Raiders hold the third overall selection. With a bounty of needs and the background of general manager Reggie McKenzie, the philosophy will be to take the best player available. The Raiders need an impact player in the draft and that player could be Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
Ideally the Raiders could trade the third pick for extra picks in this year's draft. The team does not have selections in the second or fifth round which makes the trade scenario more appealing. It also puts more pressure on the organization to select a player that has the tools to make this team better now.
With the Raiders cutting ties with defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour this offseason, the position is an area the team needs to upgrade. The team also lost defensive tackle Desmond Bryant via free agency to the Cleveland Browns. Combine those losses with the Raiders inability to consistently stop the run or pressure the quarterback and Floyd becomes an enticing target.
In his time with the Gators, Floyd started 26 games. He produced 26 tackles for loss and 4.5 career sacks. Although the sack numbers do not blow anyone away, his impact was felt along the defense as a unit. The Florida defense finished fifth in the NCAA and accounted for 87 tackles for loss and 30 sacks. Floyd consistently showed a good motor and hustle. The 6-3, 297 pound prospect has the versatility to play both defensive end, like he did for 11 games in 2011, or slide inside to defensive tackle, where he projects best. McKenzie was proven his affinity for versatile players during free agency. The Raiders are trying to implement a multiple defensive scheme where Floyd would fit well. Another quality Floyd has that translates to the NFL is quickness and burst. He ran a sub five second forty at the NFL Combine.
The Raiders have purged their defense from 2012. Only three starters from last season remain on the roster. Most of the free agent signings this offseason have come on the defensive side of the ball which is a good indication of where the team may lean in the NFL Draft. McKenzie wants to build the defense from the front four out and Floyd is a player with the ability to help in that process.
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