The first round of the 2013 NFL draft will be remembered for the early affinity shown for players portly in shape and long in suit measurements. Of the 32 first-round selections, 17 were either defensive or offensive linemen. Of those, four were defensive tackles. Two of those guys, Missouri's Sheldon Richardson (No. 13 to the New York Jets) and Star Lotulelei (No. 14 to the Carolina Panthers), were taken before Sharrif Floyd, previously of the Florida Gators before getting selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd overall pick.
Floyd going after those two is not exactly a surprise, but as NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday, his fall all the way to No. 23 makes no sense to scouts around the league. We don't know how many scouts or from which teams, but Rapoport reports that "so many like him as a player" that the whole situation is just that much weirder.
Ranked as the No. 3 defensive tackle in position rankings by Matthew Fairburn, and No. 13 overall on Dan Kadar's big board of 200 prospects, Floyd appears to have both gone in line behind Richardson and Lotulelei, but also much further down the first round board than widely expected.
So who knows? The scouts, they all liked him; maybe they assumed he was gone already and forgot about him, though that seems unlikely. Maybe their respective teams just had bigger needs to fill and the right players were still available at the right time. Maybe his 2012 numbers -- 46 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and two blocked kicks -- weren't eye-popping enough for some, or his NFL combine workouts didn't stand out on the defensive tackle charts.
There may have been reasons not to snag him earlier, there must have been. But for every one of those you could find, you could also find someone who'd tell you why Floyd should have gone higher. And certainly higher than the low-20s. As Rapoport says, Floyd "just kinda" dropped. Sometimes these things happen. If scouts are shrugging their collective shoulders, we'll have to chalk it up to the mysteries of life for now. If Floyd turns out to be the head-scratcher of a big steal he's currently thought to be, the biggest cries for an answer could come from his NFC North opponents.