Former Vikings first-round draft pick lands coaching gig with NFC rival

(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Sharrif Floyd
(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Sharrif Floyd /

The Minnesota Vikings hold the No. 23 overall pick in the 2023 draft. The team has a mixed bag of results picking in that spot. They infamously took Ole Miss wideout Laquon Treadwell back in 2016, but redeemed themselves by netting Christian Darrisaw in 2021, who now looks like the future at left tackle.

Back in 2013, the Vikings used the No. 23 overall selection on interior defender Sharrif Floyd. Floyd had a ton of hype coming out Florida, and looked the part of a serviceable DL in the league over his first three seasons.

Vikings fans may remember Floyd’s breakout 2014 season when he logged a 84.2 player grade and 88.0 run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus. In just 11 starts, Floyd compiled 42 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 30 pressures, and five sacks.

Unfortunately, Floyd’s career was cut short in 2016 after he suffered nerve damage in his knee following a routine surgery.

Floyd is still giving back to the game in the form of coaching, and actually just landed his first gig in the NFL, joining the Cowboys as their assistant defensive line/quality control coach under former college DC Dan Quinn.

Former Vikings first-round pick Sharrif Floyd hired by Cowboys as defensive assistant.

Selfishly, it would’ve been great if Floyd ended up back in Minnesota, but Vikings fans still have to feel good for the former first-round pick.

Floyd appeared in the Vikings’ season-opener against the Titans in 2016. He was inactive for the following 12 games, and was intended to undergo minor arthroscopic knee surgery that was supposed to sideline him for a month.

Instead, Floyd underwent a more significant procedure, and he ultimately suffered permanent nerve and muscle damage that his lawyers believe was the result of a negligently distributed pain blocker by knee surgeon Dr. James Andrews and the Andrews Institute for Orthopedic Surgery.

As a result, Floyd and his legal team sued the esteemed surgeon, and the Andrews Institute for $180 million. A grievance was filed on the former Viking’s behalf to get him the $6.7 million salary he was owed for the 2017 season.

You never want to see a promising career upended due to circumstances out of a player’s control. While Floyd might not longer be lacing up his cleats on Sundays, the fact he’s motivated to mentor and develop the game’s current players is a testament to his character, and he’ll get to do so under the watchful eye of one of the NFL’s premier defensive minds in Dan Quinn after he served as a student assistant at his alma mater.

Best of luck to Floyd in Dallas!