With the 23rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, giving the Gators their first first round pick since 2011. But the story of the night was Floyd's slide.
Floyd was linked to the Raiders at the No. 3 pick for months, but Oakland traded back with the Miami Dolphins, who used the pick on Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan. One of the picks the Raiders received was the 12th pick, but while Floyd remained available there, Oakland instead opted for Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. One pick later, the New York Jets took Sheldon Richardson with the 13th pick, making Richardson — not Floyd or Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei — the first defensive tackle selected. Lotulelei then went at No. 14 to the Carolina Panthers, the only NFL team that has never taken a Gator in the NFL Draft.
On and on it went for Floyd, who was considered a first-round lock for the entire pre-draft process, then saw his stock soar after excellent work at the NFL Combine. The Vikings mercifully stopped the skid at No. 23, snagging their first Gator since nabbing Percy Harvin in 2009.
Harvin, another Florida player who slid to the Vikings, did well for himself in Minnesota, as you might remember, before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. Floyd will probably remember this night for quite some time — and if he does the sort of work he did to become great at Florida in Minnesota, he might make more than a few of the teams that passed on him remember it, too.