TheSource.com catches up with Florida Gator turned Minnesota Viking Sharrif Floyd and Washington Redskin running back Alfred Morris
Two men, two schools in Florida, two very different draft picks. Alfred Morris was the 6th round underdog who ran for 1,613 yards and helped the Redskins get back in to the playoffs. Sharrif Floyd is 6’3” 303-lb force at defensive tackle that at the time of this interview was a top 10 prospect in the NFL Draft. Due to an offensive linemen frenzy in this year’s NFL Draft Sharrif Floyd fell to the Minnesota Vikings at the number 23 pick. For Sharrif this is his mindset going in to the draft as a top 10 pick, while Alfred shares his experience as a late round draft pick.
The Source – Going in to last year’s NFL combine what was your mindset?
Alfred Morris – It was best of luck going in, coming from a small school not too many people knew much about me so I didn’t let the pressure get to me I just went out there to have fun and do the best I could. That was my whole mindset.
The Source – For guys who play at big schools it kind of seems like their job is not to disappoint rather than to impress at the combine, coming from Florida Atlantic how was the overall experience different for you
AM – It was crazy, because I was overlooked a lot of times, especially at running back a lot of big names so they were like “Oh who is this Alfred Morris kid?” Things like that, I wasn’t really high on anybody’s mind so that’s how it was different. I could’ve went in there like “Oh I going to go impress, I’m going to impress” but that wasn’t my mindset. I’m just going to do the best I can and somebody’s going to like me. I don’t want all the team’s to like me, I just need one team to like me and they’ll take a chance with me and they won’t regret it. That was my whole mindset from a small school, disrespected a lot in a sense, disrespected by being the little guy, but I’ve been the underdog my whole life and all I needed was an opportunity, I just needed one team to like me.
The Source – You were drafted in the 6th round, watching the draft and seeing 172 names get called before yours, how tough was it too watch?
AM – It was real tough, at one point I got a little upset (laughs). There was a kicker drafted if I’m not mistaken and I was like “Wow a kicker?!? Like man” So it was just kind of nerve wracking, just a little stressful but I was patient. I would watch a little bit than I would go outside for a little bit, take a little rest, than come back in, back and forth, back and forth. So when my name did get called it was a sigh of relief, like finally I can breathe now. It was definitely a crazy experience.
The Source – Do you think there are any advantages to being drafted later rather than earlier?
AM – Kind of sort of, yea because those picks in the latest round they’re just trying to make the team or make the practice squad. But a lot of guys who go first round, second round, or are higher picks they’re expected to come in and start right away and just make an impact on the team. And when they don’t a lot of people say, “oh they were all hype, they didn’t need that.” They weren’t patient, they were supposed to do this and they didn’t. When you’re a lower round guy or an undrafted guy you can just come in and work your way up and it’s like “oh this wasn’t expected of him” so it’s a surprise to everyone, but when you’re a higher round that’s what is expected of you.
The Source – RG3 was the #2 overall pick and had an excessive amount of hype without any hype around you it probably let you play the type of ball you’ve always played. Did that help you in your competition for the starting job?
AM – Oh yea definitely, I was in the perfect situation. I’ve always been a one cut type, precise type of runner. And I personally fit in to the system; the coaches definitely gave me a fair chance, and opportunity. I just worked my way in, and learned and learned and for them to just throw me in give me the opportunity. I made my share of mistakes, but at the same time I didn’t give up, I kept fighting and still it was open. They didn’t have a starter, they didn’t have a runner, whether it was going to be Helu, Royster, or Hightower I didn’t know who it was going to be. Then I came in and kind of got thrown in the mix so it was the perfect situation. I just grinded it out and just won the job. I was glad I got a fair shot, and just glad that it was perfect situation with the perfect system because Coach Shanahan has a lot of success with running backs and he finds the right backs of getting in his system.
The Source– If you could give advice to any of the draft prospects this year and the draft prospects later in the future what would it be?
AM – It doesn’t matter where you go, where you play at, what round you go in drafted or undrafted. If you have the talent first of all the NFL will find you and all you need is an opportunity, once you get your opportunity make the most of it. You never know when it’s going to come so always be ready, always be prepared to be #1. So just work hard and when the opportunity comes seize it.
The Source – Did anyone give you any advice going in to the draft?
AM – Uhh no, no big running backs went to my school so I didn’t have any mentors like those older guys. I didn’t have a Terrell Davis reach out to me or a Marshall Faulk; I didn’t have that because I was like nobody expects anything of me. They didn’t think I was going to get drafted or even make it in the NFL. I went to a small school so I didn’t have that, I just had me and my family. You know, it just pushed myself and I knew what goals I wanted, I wanted to play in the NFL and be successful and I got my opportunity to do that.
-John McAuliffe (@John_Mac310)