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Floyd sprints his way up NFL draft boards

Feb 26, 2012, 2:45 PM EST

Michael Floyd TD Maryland

There was one major question NFL teams had about Notre Dame star receiver Michael Floyd: Just how fast was he? After four seasons of dominating play at Notre Dame using his raw physical abilities, the NFL Scouting Combine offered the Irish’s all-time leading receiver the opportunity to show off his speed, the one remaining on-the-field question mark.

Floyd answered those questions resoundingly, clocking two runs in the 4.4 range, including an official 4.47 that separated him from Baylor’s Kendall Wright, who ran a 4.61 officially. The consensus No. 1 wide receiver in the draft, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, skipped the 40-yard dash, and only had limited participation in drills and testing, opting to rest a tender hamstring before his March 9 pro day.

Of course, the combine is just the beginning of a two-month slog that’ll have players moving up and down mythical scouting boards up until the NFL Draft. But realistically, while he’ll still have more questions to answer — specifically about his alcohol-related mishaps — Floyd did plenty to help himself in Indianapolis.

“Most people expected him to run in the 4.5s,” Rotoworld’s Evan Silva said about the Irish star’s performance. “But Floyd’s clearly been working on his craft. He demonstrated work ethic, he slimmed down and ran fast.”

Speed isn’t all that’ll make or break Floyd’s case for being a Top-20 pick. It was two years ago that Golden Tate blazed his way to an official 4.42 forty, answering the “one big question” everybody had about Tate’s first round candidacy. (Tate’s second round selection might seem too early in retrospect, with the former Biletnikoff winner struggling early in his career, with only 609 yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons.)

Still, if there were questions that needed to be answered in Indianapolis, Floyd answered them, acing his first test in front of NFL brass. With Wright hurting his stock with a 4.6 time, Floyd made a rock-solid case to be at least the second wide receiver off the board, with Blackmon needing to put a good 40-yard dash time on the board to solidify his top spot.

  1. ravenscaps48 - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Go Michael Go!

  2. bernhtp - Feb 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    He has always been MMF to us, and he will soon be Mr. Michael Floyd to the rest of the country. I predict a great NFL career for Michael, and a well-deserved one at that. He’s done everything asked of him at Notre Dame, and then more. Growing up did not come easily or early for him, but he did it in great fashion just as with everything else.

  3. dmac4real - Feb 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Im not saying Golden Tate will blow up. However, he is in a shitty situation in Seattle with the QB situation. I mean he has Travaris Jackson throwing him the ball or Charlie Whitehurst or whoever it was. Im surprised hes getting 300 yards a season up there. I put him in the same reason at BQ and Jimmy, they all got screwed with where they went. If Tate went to NE and Tom Brady, hed have a much larger impact.

    • bernhtp - Feb 26, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Golden is great, but Michael is better. They have similar speed and athletic ability, but Michael is taller, bigger, stronger, breaks more tackles, and is a much better blocker.

      I hope that Golden’s situation improves, but Michael really deserves to be on a team with a great QB after his past two years.

      • nudeman - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Love Golden. Hope he makes it big, somehow. But prob needs a better situation.

        On MMF, not to be a contrarian, but what does one make of his penchant for making the impossible catch then dropping a perfectly thrown ball that can be a game killer? You see this occasionally from players at different levels, but in the NFL they either fix that or they don’t last.

        With MMF, it wasn’t an “isolated incident” thing. It happened frequently. Against FSU it arguably cost ND the game; he also dropped a perfect one for a TD last year against Miami in El Paso. Several other times too.

        He obviously has good hands. Is his concentration poor? Does he need the challenge of having to make a diving or leaping catch to stay interested?

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, think he’s grown up a LOT. And I’d be OK if the Bears get him (although I think they have bigger draft needs). But I’ve never understood this aspect of his play.

      • irish4006 - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        @ nudeman, I noticed the same but I think it has a lot to do with your confidence in your qb. With a pee-wee tosser at your qb, you are constantly having to adjust. With so much doubts in your mind on where the ball will end up being when you are running the route, concentration is bound to suffer. How many “perfectly thrown” balls have you seen in the last 2 years? If the ball really is where it should be, a rarity in recent times, you’d probably be trying too hard to make the most of it and make some mistakes (although that is hardly an excuse for dropping it). :-)

        I don’t know if that is the case with MMF, but I would be really frustrated as a receiver with the qb situtation we had going for the last 2 years. At the end of the day, you are a receiver/blocker/route runner, but you are hugely dependent on the qb (like the argument made by some in Tate’s favor).

      • nudeman - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        Hmmm … don’t know if I can agree with all of that.

        Yes, the QB play has been poor. But taking the drop against FSU as Exhibit A, I don’t know why that would matter. The ball hit him in stride and right in his hands. At that point, the QB has done all he can and the WR needs to catch it. Period.

        I think Floyd will correct this, and injuries permitting (always a qualifier with ANY player) should have a very good/maybe great NFL career.

        One other thing that never got a lot of attention: Why did he go out against FSU? They definitely missed him in the 4th quarter. Never heard what the reason was and have seen some mild criticism directed his way for opting out.

      • bernhtp - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        There was a huge difference between the beginning 3/4 of the season and the last few games regarding MMF drops. He had the surest hands in the universe – often making circus catches and holding on during vicious hits – for most of the season, but this changed near the end as he made a number of inexplicable drops.

        I don’t know why this changed – maybe lack of concentration from poor QB frustration – but he has clearly shown the ability to have amazing hands. He obviously needs to step up the consistency in the pros.

      • schuey73 - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Nude. From what I remember reading, MMF sustained some kind of rib injury. I believe he did it on that circus touchdown catch he made.

        It’s why he did not play in the Senior Bowl.

        As far as the drops go, he probably gets caught up looking ahead before he secures the ball.

      • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

        Do you think Golden gets razzed in the showers as much in the pros as he did in college?

        For the NFL, I prefer the tall, dark and handsome. Bigger the better. Midget receivers don’t do much for me. I’ll take Calvin Klein Johnson over Steve Stonerboner Smith anyday.

  4. dnice024 - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    How about we take a moment to reflect on BK’s handling of the MMF (offseason) situation and appreciate the patience and maturity showed by all sides. Well done, all…

    • 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Well said.

    • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      With talent like that, it ain’t too hard. He didn’t do sht other than pull him aside and say “dude, u is be brinin some heat on my azz brollerskates. quit drinkin for a year, would ya?” Which is why I say let’s bend a little and let more football players in with subpar ACT/SAT scores. NCAA minimum ACT score is 18. Let’s let them in with a 19 or 20.

      Hell we did it for Holtzy. Now is as good of time as any to do it again. Then we can go back to being a diehard blowhard extremist non conformist catholics again. Who’s wit me?

      • paiten34 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        That has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard you say. Graduation rate have stayed the same or have gotten better the last few years. Now we’ve not seenhow kelly’s will do in the future but I think the graduation rate will stay as high as it is now. If a kid is willing to work at notre dame notre dame should be willing to work with that kid. Doing what we did 10 or 15 years ago isn’t the answer. I’m talking about the time when we refused entrance to walter payton son jarrett payton as well as other kids who had parents who graduated from notre dame. Telling young people that you don’t think they can graduate from your classes or your school is down right wrong. kids deserve a chance 2 fail or succeed on their own merits.

  5. majbobby - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Thank you Brian Kelly for helping this kid get his head str8. Look forward to watching him in the NFL. Hope it is with the BILLS across fro
    Stevie Johnson.

    • pacific123ocean - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      I hope you are correct and his head is finally st8. But, I think we need to reserve judgement a bit longer before declaring him a changed man.

      • bernhtp - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        Every recovering addict I know repeats the same mantra – one day at a time. However, I’m not sure that MMF admits to being an addict (powerless against it) and sworn abstinence. This may be his undoing as successful recovery normally requires this admission, total abstinence, and a support system to deal with the tough times and recovery from relapse.

      • nudeman - Feb 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        bern

        Let’s assume you’re right and he IS an addict. How do you know that he doesn’t admit to it and totally embrace his recovery?

        I will say THIS in support of your theory: In an interview I read that he did just a few days ago, he was asked about how he’s changed, and said something to the effect of “I go out less frequently”.

        “Less frequently”? I inferred from that he still drinks, but not as much. Mild red flag if I’m an NFL team.

      • bernhtp - Feb 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Nude: As I said/equivocated “I’m not sure.” However, I hear the same things you do. As to whether he is an addict, I don’t take the same binary attitude toward it – you’re one or not – that many most do. He clearly has/had a problem with alcohol given his repeated run-ins with the law, and this is a traditional indicator of problem/addiction. He also was spotted in bars while on probation where he ostensibly only sipped soda water while hanging with friends. He was told to stop that, and he did. But someone admitting to a problem/addiction would never put themselves in that situation in the first place.

        I think that Michael has made enormous strides with this issue and I really hope he continues to keep it under control. However, given his proclivities, the temptations in the NFL, and the lower accountability, he will need to treat it even more seriously to remain successful, IMO. Let’s hope.

      • nudeman - Feb 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        He ought to spend some time with Chris Carter who was a user/drinker coming out of Ohio State, was drafted in the 1st round then summarily cut in training camp by Buddy Ryan at Philadelphia.

        Today he credits Ryan (in part) for his turnaround.

        Maybe much the same way MMF will one day credit BK.

      • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Guys, you guys are all racists. I am a cokehead addict myself. How come BK ain’t come knockin on my doors offering help? Racists….All of you’s!

      • paiten34 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        Unless I’m mistaken michael floyd is 21 is an adult drinking is legal if he wants to go on have a few drinks let him. The only thing you can not do is drive himself home. If he has had too much to drink take a cab get a designated driver. Do not go drinking and driving that’s the only rule he broke the man is allowed to drink and still be a successful player. Just ask Babe Ruth or countless other players.

      • paiten34 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        Well dick number 1 you are not brian kelly’s problem you’re not on his team or on his staff. As for me i could care less what the other 2500 students do at the school i coach at. I care what the student athletes under my supervision are doing not everyone else. That is the only way you can deal with a situation like the one Kelly and Floyd had.

  6. schuey73 - Feb 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I was very impressed with how MMF looked at the combine. Michael Irvin made some comment about MMF coming across the middle in the NFL and how it’s easy to hit a big body in the NFL. Huh? Anybody who has watched MMF play knows he does not shy away from contact.

    As a ND fan, I’m happy that he will probably be drafted in the middle of the 1st round. However, as a Colts fan, I would have loved for him to still be available for the Colts 2nd pick. Luck to Floyd for the TD would be easy to get used to! The Colts need a lot of things, and a big play receiver is one of them. Maybe they’ll trade up to get him. I can dream can’t I?

    • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Yeah but what Irvin failed to mention is that how much more hurt you can put on a midget receiver coming across the middle(wes welker)…

      Did you notice a cotton mouth white foam near his lips by chance? He’s prolly back on the powder for a minute.

      • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        BTW, He hates ND with a passion as much as we hate the U or anybody associated with ND.

    • dickasman - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      I think with the 40 numbers he put up and the measurements, he’ll def be a top 8-15 pick. He’s moved up the charts considerably in my book. He’ll probably be gone before the dam bears pick. With my luck, bears will end up with stuttering alshon geoffrey or another drug addict WR, DOHHH!

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