Rick Spielman is getting a lot of pats on the back for this one. The narrative goes like this. Sharrif Floyd was valued as a top 10 pick but because lots of teams wanted offensive line this year, he took a tumble down the draft board. The Vikings thankfully were not looking for O-line and were glad to snap up Floyd at 23. Like Percy Harvin and Randy Moss before him, Floyd represents insanely high value in the late first. And Spielman is a hero for pulling the trigger on the pick.
Only problem with this narrative: Sharrif Floyd may never have been valued as a top-10 pick in the first place, making his “fall” a total media-created mirage and Spielman’s brilliance in this case a fraud. It’s true that Floyd showed up in many mock drafts as a top-10 selection. But those are only mock drafts. Those are the opinions of people who do not work for NFL front offices. As a matter of fact there is evidence to indicate that Floyd was never that high on teams’ draft boards. Consider these snippets from yesterday.
Tony Pauline posted this before the Raiders passed on Floyd (and actually traded down):
I’m told the Raiders are unlikely to draft Shariff Floyd, even if they can’t move down from the third slot. As one source close to the situation told me earlier today, “the mock draft community is overrating Sharrif Floyd”. Word is the Tennessee Titans at ten look like a good fit.
The Titans passed on him too and he kept “falling.” Later came this observation from an NFL scout via Bob McGinn:
The idiots on TV made [Floyd]. He’s not that good. He’s not better than Ziggy Hood. Floyd’s not a real bulky guy but he can run.
It surely appears that the drafniks overvalued Floyd. And the fans and media are responding to that phantom valuation when they refer to Floyd as a steal. It’s possible that, in truth, the Vikings and other teams valued Floyd right around where he ended up being taken. But will the Vikings admit that? Of course not. They will happily go along with the notion that Floyd was a steal. It’s good PR for them. It helps grow the legend of Rick Spielman, Draft Master.
Just to be clear, I am not saying the Floyd selection was a bad selection. He certainly looks like a talented prospect and 3-tech DT was a position of need especially with Kevin Williams winding down to the end of his career. So on its face this looks like a good solid pick. But let’s not oversell the pick based on some possibly erroneous notion of Floyd’s value. Did Floyd really fall to the Vikings or was the fall a hallucination generated by the mock draft community and embraced by the team for reasons that should be plainly obvious? Ask yourself that.
And I hope Sharrif Floyd turns out to be a 10-time Pro Bowler. By the way.