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Floyd A Surefire First-Rounder

The two burning questions NFL teams had concerning Michael Floyd were about his character and speed. By keeping his nose clean as a senior last season, when he obliterated most all-time Notre Dame receiving records following a March arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, and running a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, those inquiries were answered.

To most experts, former Oklahoma State star Justin Blackmon was and still is the pick of the litter at that position. The 6-1, 215-pounder caught 121 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper and others, however, raved about Floyd’s performance in Indy, suggesting the Chicago Bears could take the Fighting Irish alumnus with the 19th overall pick next month.

After Tuesday’s Notre Dame Pro Day at the Loftus Athletics Center, Floyd made another push to be what he had hoped to be when he made the surprising decision to finish his eligibility with the Irish: the best wideout in the land.

Working with former ND quarterback Jimmy Clausen, Floyd put on a show in front of representatives from 27 NFL teams. His routes were crisp. His hands snapped the ball out of the air his speed was on full display.

“In my book he is (the best receiver in the Draft),” said NBC and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. “If you take the off-the-field stuff away from Michael Floyd and just watch the tape, I think he compares very, very favorably to Justin Blackmon. In my opinion, I think Jacksonville at [No.] 7 starts his interest. I don’t think he gets past 16 with the Jets. I think there are some teams like Chicago hanging down there at 19 that would love to have Michael Floyd.

“You get a 6-foot-3, 220-pound wide receiver who gets tremendous breaks in and out. His explosion off the line of scrimmage is exceptional. I would compare it to Blackmon. When I look at Michael Floyd, I think the interest should start at No. 7 with Jacksonville, Miami at 8, Carolina at 9 and Buffalo at 10. In no event can I see him going past the Jets at 16.”

At the Combine Floyd also registered a vertical jump of 36.5 inches, a 10-2 broad jump and 16 repetitions on the bench press. He slimmed down to 220 pounds and opted not to compete in the three-cone drill and the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles.

He posted a 4.23-second mark in pro agility, 7.11 in the three-cone and 11.66 in the 60-yard shuttle Tuesday at the Loftus Athletics Center. Floyd didn’t feel as if he had much more to prove.

“Not so much,” he said. “Whatever they wanted to see I was going to do and do it my best. Just go out there and perform. I just want to be picked. It’s been a goal of mine, and a dream, since I was in third grade when I first started just to play in the NFL. It’s a blessing to be in this position right now from what I’ve been through. I’m just grateful that I’m in this position.”

He was also thankful Clausen was there with him.

"Great friend," he said. "Not a lot of people can do that, or say that a guy from the NFL is coming back for an old teammate. We’re good friends. He’s just a good guy that I like a lot. I knew he would do it for me as long as he was not set on going back to Carolina whenever they were due there to report. I knew he was a good friend and I knew he would help me out. That’s what he did today."

Floyd, who caught 271 passes for 3,686 yards and 37 touchdowns in his Irish career, said he’s visited with Carolina and worked out for Philadelphia so far. A source confirmed that Floyd worked out for Tennessee Wednesday at Notre Dame.

“I think I put myself in the best position possible to be picked by a team,” he said. “I answered, I believe, all the questions they could ask. If there are more to ask, I’m not shy.”

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