Last summer, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay went back and re-watched four games of Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. He wasn't exactly thrilled with what he saw on film, giving Floyd a second-round grade in his preliminary rankings.
Also read: Sharrif Floyd 2013 NFL Draft scouting report
"I liked him," McShay said in a conference call on Friday. "I think I gave him a second-round grade, but I didn't love him. I couldn't figure him out as a player.
"While you could see flashes of his mobility and different things he could do, he was playing outside a lot and it just didn't seem to fit who he was. When I saw him at the point of attack he wasn't the strongest guy either, so I just didn't know what his fit would be."
Recently, McShay went back and went through five games of Floyd's tape from 2012 and came away with a much different outlook on the Gators' defensive tackle.
"He's one of the most improved players that I closely studied from this past summer to now out of this entire draft class," McShay said.
"It wasn't this complete overhaul or transformation. It was just two things that I think jump out to me. First of all, how they used him (inside a lot more this year, where he just fits better). And second of all, the improvement he made with his upper body. The strength that he has, he's just so much more powerful. And the way he uses his hands to get off blocks."
McShay points out that this class is deep at the defensive line positions. Utah's Star Lotulelei, Missouri's Sheldon Richardson and Alabama's Jesse Williams are all considered first-round prospects at defensive tackle with others in the mix as well. But McShay thinks Floyd stands out.
"I think Floyd is among the top six or seven players in this draft," McShay said. "Right now I have him as the fifth overall prospect. It won't surprise me a bit if he ends up going in that five-to-seven range."