One of the hottest names in the NFL Draft is Sharrif Floyd. Floyd was first-team All-SEC this past season but his rise didn’t reach its peak until after his performance at the Scouting Combine. The defensive tackle showed a unique combination of athleticism, quickness and power. For a player his size it led to buzz that he could be one of the first names called on draft night. There’s still plenty of time before now and the draft but if he solidifies his standing as a Top Five pick, it could put him in play for the Philadelphia Eagles, who draft fourth. For Floyd, a Philly native, that would mean a return home where the dream of playing in the NFL first began. Sharrif Floyd joined WIP in Philadelphia with Michael Barkann and Ike Reese to talk about the combine process, whether the combine was more than he expected, whether any team asked him about his sexual orientation, on shining during drills at the combine and how he would feel if the Eagles drafted him and he returned home.
On the combine process:
“I went into it not expecting what they threw at me. I just kept a positive attitude towards it all. That way I didn’t get into a mode where it was too much. I honestly just kept a smile on my face and just kept taking it for what it was, because at the end of the day I would have rather been there than been at home.”
Was it more than you expected?
“It was a lot more mental than it was physical. I had 21 meetings with NFL teams and we got over 10 hours of psychological testing. It’s a bunch before that people don’t see on TV.”
Whether any team asked about his sexual orientation:
“No, that definitely was not thrown at me so I can join your club. I was never asked that. (Host: Do you know guys who were? Was that a buzz going on at the combine?) No one came to me and told me anything about it. I really can’t speak on that topic. I know I wasn’t asked and no one came to me and said ‘hey have you been asked this?’ This is the first time I’m being asked about it. I haven’t gotten that question.”
On shining during the physical drills in Indy:
“Yeah, the physical was the easiest part for me. I was talking to a couple of the players down at IMG before we got to Indianapolis and just sat down and gave them a mental outlook on how I was thinking about it. What I said was, ‘we’ve been doing this all our life. We’ve been doing this since eighth grade, some of y’all since little league. Why get nervous now? Why put that mental pressure on yourself now? This is where you step up, this is where you show them I have been doing this for a while. This is like second wind, this is like breathing.’ That was my take on the whole thing when we got to the physical part and I just went out and did what I always did in practice, what I always did in the offseason. It wasn’t like, ‘I gotta put on them right now.’ That’s normal, that’s what I do whenever I’m at practice, whenever we’re going through bag drills with coach. That’s normal.”
How he would feel if the Eagles drafted him:
“That would kind of be a blessing you know? I leave to go to Florida for college and then to return to my hometown and play in the NFL with the best of the best, it’s just a blessing in disguise. It would mean the world to me. Just to go as high as everyone is expecting or even get a chance to step in and get my foot in the door because a lot of people don’t get the chance. I’m just going to take it for what it is and take advantage of it. I’m one of those guys that don’t want to be just a face passing through the league. I want to be there 13, 14 years and when I’m done they say ‘that was a player right there.’ When you ask that question to somebody about ‘how do you feel about Sharrif Floyd?’ The one word that should come out is ‘nasty.’ I want to be known as something great, not just as a player that stopped by and left.”
On his tough upbringing in Philadelphia:
“I guess when I look back now, I was a positive role model for a lot of kids coming up now because not only growing up did I see everything I was not supposed to see at the age that I was, but I also kept my head on straight and I had seen so much bad that it wasn’t hard for me to see what was good. I focused on the good and kept focusing on the good and as I got further along my coaches kept telling me, ‘keep doing the right thing. It’s going to pay off. Hard work pays off.’ I listened to my coaches because I know they had my best interest in hand. I listened to them and kept doing the right things. I never got in trouble growing up, never been arrested or none of that. I guess the whole thing is it’s not impossible to get out of a situation where you see no out.”
On his most comfortable position:
“I feel I will do whatever is best for the team first but my most comfortable is the three technique. I feel I’m most disruptive of offenses and my get-off, it all works hand-in-hand with that. I feel as if I can bring a lot more to the table as a defensive tackle but also not afraid to play a little bit of defensive end either.”