The Minnesota Vikings have done a bang-up job adding elite defensive talent through the draft. Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes are just a few names here.
Though, general manager Rick Spielman and Co. did miss out on one first-round pick during this rather lengthy string of draft success. And he might have been the highest-upside player of the lot.
Former Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was the 23rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The expectation there was that he’d be able to pack a pass-rush punch from the interior of the defensive line.
That has not happened. Floyd played in just a grand total of one game this past regular season after undergoing knee surgery in September. Prior to that, Floyd didn’t really mesh with what the Vikings were doing on defense, recording a grand total of 9.5 sacks in his first three seasons.
Now, it looks like head coach Mike Zimmer might very well be prepared to move on from this experiment.
“Sharrif is under contract and I know (Spielman) is in charge with all that,” Zimmer said, via the Star Tribune. “So, we’ll see where it goes.”
Floyd is under contract for next season at $6.5 million, a lump of cash that becomes guaranteed in March should he still be on the roster. That’s a nice chunk of change to pay for an injury-prone defender that when healthy hasn’t proven himself capable of making a strong impact.
Though, it would be a rare instance of this Vikings regime admitting a mistake on defense. Whether that changes their course of action remains to be seen.