STACK followed dozens of the NFL's top prospects as they hit the gym to get ready for the NFL Combine and beyond. In our Path to the Pros video series, we show you how these world-class athletes trained for the next level. Today, we turn our attention to one of the elite playmakers in this year's Draft, wide receiver Michael Floyd from the University of Notre Dame.
No player at the 2012 NFL Combine stood more to gain—or lose—from his performance in the 40-Yard Dash than wide receiver Michael Floyd.
Widely regarded as the number-two wideout in the Draft, Floyd possesses the size and skills that teams are looking for in a potential number-one target. At the Combine, he measured 6'3" and weighed in at 220 pounds with a 32 7/8" arm length and 9 3/8" hands—all above-average measurables for an NFL wideout.
On the field, Floyd is a multi-dimensional receiver who excels in every aspect of the position. He runs solid routes, catches balls in traffic and makes big-time blocks to open holes in the running game. "I'm a deep threat [who's] able to catch the ball, run with it, and make big plays," Floyd says. His 28 career touchdown receptions set a school record at Notre Dame, and his total of thirteen 100-yard receiving games tied for second in school history.
Still, questions persisted regarding Floyd's top-end speed and ability to separate from faster cornerbacks downfield. By running the Combine 40-Yard Dash in 4.47 seconds, Floyd seemed to answer those questions, pushing his name into consideration as the Draft's top receiver.
To achieve his 4.47 time, Floyd needed to improve his acceleration and transition phases over the first 20 yards of the 40, according to Ken Vick, high performance director at Velocity Sports Performance. He also needed to develop strength and stability in his core and hips, Vick says, "because a strong, stable core doesn't waste his power on every stride."
Beyond preparing for the Combine, the workouts have value that will carry onto the football field for Floyd. "Developing strength and stability in the core and hips also helps him get into his breaks faster," Vick says
"You've got a put a lot of effort into the workouts," says Floyd. "But I think what separates me is hard work. No one can take that from me, and I keep grinding and keeping working hard until I accomplish my goals."
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