GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Former Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Floyd becomes the highest Gator drafted since offensive lineman Mike Pouncey was taken 15th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2011 NFL Draft. Former Florida safety Matt Elam was selected by the reigning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Floyd, who declared for the draft after his junior season at UF, becomes the 44th former Florida player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. UF has had a player picked in the first round in 32 drafts, fifth-most among all schools nationally. Floyd joins a long line of UF defensive linemen selected in the NFL Draft, as the Orange and Blue have seen 16 D-lineman picked since 2000.
Minnesota has drafted 11 Gators, most recently selecting Percy Harvin in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Vikings currently do not have any former UF players on their roster.
Floyd was the first defensive lineman at Florida to earn All-America honors since 2001, being named a first-team All-American by Sporting News in 2012. He was selected to the first-team All-SEC by the AP, Coaches, and Phil Steele and finished his UF career with 115 tackles, 26.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks, a pass breakup, three blocked field goals and a forced fumble. His three career kick/punt blocks is tied for fifth in school history. Floyd recorded 46 tackles in the 2012 season, leading the team with 13.0 TFL.
Elam, who declared for the draft after his junior season at UF, becomes the 45th former Florida player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. UF has had a player picked in the first round in 32 drafts, fifth-most among all schools nationally. Elam is the first Florida defensive back drafted since Ahmad Black was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Gators have had four defensive backs drafted in the past four years, as cornerback Joe Haden (1st Round, Cleveland Browns) and Major Wright (3rd Round, Chicago Bears) were taken in the 2010 Draft.
Baltimore has drafted three other Gators, most recently selecting wide receiver Travis Taylor in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Ravens currently have one former UF players on their roster, Deonte Thompson, who signed as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2012 season.
A first-team All-America selection by the AP, CBSSports.com, SI.com, and Sporting News in 2012, Elam was only the second safety in school history to be named a First-team All-American by the Associated Press (Reggie Nelson, 2006). Elam was also named to the first-team All-SEC by the AP, Coaches, and Phil Steele. He appeared in 39 games (26 starts at safety) in his Gator career, recording 176 tackles, 23.5 TFL, 13 pass breakups, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Elam finished the 2012 season second on the team with 76 tackles, including 2.0 sacks and 11.0 TFL. He led the team with four interceptions, ranking third in the SEC. Elam was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after notching seven tackles, all solo, in the win over LSU and forcing a game-changing fumble in the third quarter.
Elam's older brother, Abram, was a safety with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and has played seven years in the NFL. He is currently a free agent.