Feb 26, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT
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.