Chicago Sun-Times

Michael Floyd eager to prove checkered past behind him

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Most NFL mock drafts still have the Bears selecting Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd with the 19th pick of the first round -- an unusually solid consensus for the 19th pick this far from draft day, as a matter of fact.

Floyd met the media on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine and most of the questions addressed the character issue -- Floyd had three alcohol-related arrests at Notre Dame, including a DUI last January.

While he was suspension from the team in the offseason and faced expulsion from the university, Floyd was reinstated and didn't miss a game after meeting a strict standard of personal rehabilitation set by Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

After being blindsided by Sam Hurd's drug arrest last season, the Bears are sure to tread carefully in their evaluation of Floyd. But every NFL team is asking Floyd about the alcohol issue during informal interviews.

''It's been all right,'' he said. ''I know the questions they're going to ask. I'm comfortable in the position to answer anything. All I can do is be honest and tell them exactly what happened in my past and go on from there.''

What does he tell the NFL teams about his transgressions?

''That you've grown from it. That it's behind you. That it's a mistake that happened
in the past and that I'm moving forward,'' he said. ''I think I've grown a lot. Coming to the NFL now I think you do have to mature a great deal because obviously you'll get behind in a lot of things [if you don't]. Like they said, this is a professional sport and you gotta act like a professional.''

Floyd, who otherwise has been a soft-spoken, low-key and upstanding student-athlete at Notre Dame, said his off-the-field problems were ''just immaturity.

''People all the time have mistakes like this. Unfortunately it happened to me on a big stage going across the nation. It's about moving forward. It's about making sure you don't make the same mistake again. And just keeping a positive head and staying on the positive side of things.''

Floyd said he has changed his ways -- particularly avoiding the element that caused him problems in the first place.

''I went out less -- just kind of changed the whole environment around me. Friends. Just guys that I wouldn't have to be in that position of having to do things that would potentially put me in a troubled positions. I went to alcohol classes at school with a counselor with a whole bunch of kids from Notre Dame that were kind of going through some problems, too. It was a good experience and I liked it.''

At 6-2 "and some change" and 220 pounds, Floyd had the size the Bears are looking for -- or at least the size Jay Cutler is looking for. He played several wide receiver positions in two offensive systems under Kelly and Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and was an excellent downfield blocker last season.

He has an obvious knack for getting the ball in traffic, but occasionally was stymied by talented defensive backs. He said he compares himself in style to Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson -- all Pro Bowl NFL wide receivers.

What sets him apart from other receiver prospects?

''I think it's just being the all-around wide receiver,'' he said. ''I think I have all the capabilities. Not saying there's stuff I'm the best at -- there's stuff I need to improve on for sure. But just making sure I have all of them
in my arsenal and I'm ready to learn.''

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Im not big on the idea of spending the #19 overall pick on a guy that has been arrested 3 times on alcohol related charges. Thats a red flag. Another red flag on Michael Floyd is his durability problems, he had a broken collarbone in 2009 and a left knee injury in 2008. If Chicago goes receiver in the 1st, I still say take Rutgers Mohamed Sanu, he has size like Floyd, 6-2 215lbs, and has the hands to match, a Big-East record 210 career catches. And no off the field issues or major injury past like Floyd. I'd also take Stanford guard David DeCastro over Floyd, just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on February 25, 2012 11:05 AM.

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