Floyd shines with help of Clausen at ND’s Pro Day

Clausen fires passes for Notre Dame's Pro Day.
Posted on April 3, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 3, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.

NOTRE DAME — Michael Floyd already has his outfit picked out for the NFL Draft later this month.

A tailored gray suit. Purple shirt. Black socks.

If he’s going to travel to New York City with one of the highest-rated draft stocks in his class, he better look the part.

He certainly played the part Tuesday afternoon during Notre Dame’s Pro Day, where the former Irish receiver ran routes in front of NFL coaches and scouts, including Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith and Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

Former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was in town to throw to his former teammate, saying Floyd had all the makings of a successful NFL receiver.

“He’s gonna do great,” Clausen said. “He’s a competitor. He works hard, one of the hardest guys that I’ve seen work. Just to have his mentality and his skill set, he’s gonna fit in (the NFL) really well.”

Floyd played two seasons with Clausen before the latter left after his junior year and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers. Clausen still considers Floyd “one of (his) best friends” and said that the two had been throwing around together since they arrived in South Bend on Sunday.

The pair connected well Tuesday afternoon during the Pro Day workouts. Floyd caught every ball Clausen tossed, including several deep passes. The receiver only dropped one pass, during a fast-paced drill where an NFL coordinator would call for Floyd to turn around while the ball was in mid-air.

“I had a good relationship with him, and I knew he would come back for me, to throw to me,” Floyd said of Clausen. “And he got the opportunity to make his dream come true and be in the NFL, and I just wanted his help to make me get to the top.”

It’s a dream Floyd says he’s had since he was a kid, hearing his name get called on draft day while he waits in the green room.

“I just want to be picked,” he said. “This is a goal of mine. It’s been a dream since I was in third grade to play in the NFL. It’s a blessing to be in this position right now for what I’ve been through, and I’m just grateful to be in this position.”

Floyd said he’s already visited Carolina and had a workout with the Philadelphia Eagles. He said several of the NFL teams that have interviewed him have asked about his off-field issues, notably his three alcohol-related offenses that include a DUI arrest last March.

“I think I put myself in the best position possible to be picked by a team,” Floyd said. “I think I’ve answered, I believe, most of the questions (teams may have about him) that have been asked. If there’s more to come, I’m not shy.”


In addition to Floyd, Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton, Gary Gray, Jonas Gray, Darius Fleming, Taylor Dever, Trevor Robinson and David Ruffer also participated in Pro Day drills.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock was in attendance and offered his thoughts on each player’s performance.

“I think the two guys that really helped themselves in terms of 40 times and measurables are Blanton and Fleming,” he said. “They both ran mid-4.5 (40s). I’ve been a believe for a long time.”

Of Floyd, Mayock said: “In my book, he is (the best receiver in the draft). If you take the off-the-field stuff away from Michael Floyd and just watch the tape, I think he compares very favorably to (Oklahoma State’s) Justin Blackmon.

“In my opinion, I think Jacksonville at seven (in the draft) starts his interest. I don’t think he gets past 16(th pick) with the Jets.”

Of Smith, Mayock said: “I think Mark Barron, the safety from Alabama, is in the Top 20. Harrison should be the next safety. I see him late first round, but probably the top half of the second round...Somebody’s going to get a steal with Harrison Smith.”

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