Tyler Boyd, WR
School: Pittsburgh | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 197 lbs.
Projected Draft Status: 2nd - 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Keenan Allen
Ultra-competitive playmaker from Pennsylvania who set school records at both the high school and college levels. In high school, he won Player of the Year twice and had 117 (!!) career touchdowns. At Pitt, he was a three-year starter that was a threat as a receiver, runner, and returner, garnering first-team All-ACC honors his sophomore and junior seasons. Broke Pitt's all-time receiving marks in career catches (254) and receiving yards (3,361), surpassing Larry Fitzgerald's statistics set in the early 2000's. Boyd played with multiple quarterbacks in college and was usually the team's only receiving threat, but overcame the extra attention to consistently make plays and put up big numbers.
Boyd has athletic measurables that are sub-standard when talking about elite wide receiver prospects, but makes up for a lot of that by making contested acrobatic catches, being clutch in critical moments, having great hands and solid route running. He improved his 40-yard dash during Pitt's pro day, running a 4.50, an improvement over the 4.58 he posted at the Combine.
- Large, soft hands that pluck the ball out of the air. Once he latches on, extremely tough to dislodge; drops ball very infrequently
- Competitive and tough player that absorbs vicious hits over the middle and in traffic
- Managed to post good production as both a receiver and runner despite being only playmaker on the team
- Good vision and instincts to find the soft spot in zones and running lanes out of the backfield. Dangerous once he turns the corner
- Lacks ideal height, bulk, and speed for a prototypical receiver, although ran a 4.50 at his pro day and frame looks like it can handle 10-15 extra pounds of muscle
- Inconsistent route running; will get sloppy and round-off an out route one play, then run a crisp pivot or post the next play
- No explosive first step off the line of scrimmage; not sudden as a runner, takes a long time to reach full speed once he gets going
Tyler Boyd got trashed when he ran in the 4.5's though. https://t.co/uEBsAYmfSz
— JD Schroeder (@Sta7ic) March 28, 2016
Tyler Boyd (Pitt - WR) is one of the best catchers in this draft. Great adjuster. Hands-catcher. Very tough. Concentration through contact.— JGoodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 28, 2016
Maurice Jones-Drew calls Tyler Boyd a future Pro Bowler. https://t.co/sjXBKZ97Zl— Chris Dokish (@ChrisDokish) March 25, 2016
Pitt WR Tyler Boyd, productive and sure-handed, lands at No. 40 in @YShutdownCorner top 50 NFL draft prospectshttps://t.co/Sj7vILWCOj— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 23, 2016
Pittsburgh's wide receiver Tyler Boyd who has all the fundamentals to be a good receiver pic.twitter.com/ufTkjJHlOJ— Draft Heads (@DraftHeads) March 20, 2016
Gimme him at the end of the 2nd round https://t.co/NH22vJKC2H— Grayson (@BradyGOATtbh) March 23, 2016
Tyler Boyd starring in 'Press Cover This' https://t.co/J9HZ4YRHyB— Laurie Horesh (@LaurieHoresh) February 26, 2016
2015 Tyler Boyd https://t.co/4pFpTm2ffW— Russell Clay (@RussellJClay) February 13, 2016
Tyler Boyd || Best Hands in Country || Pitt Highlights https://t.co/vYRNnpsLfD— Chocolate Thunder ⚡️ (@KingJabooo5) March 18, 2016
How He Fits on the Redskins
This is an unpopular opinion, and one that will probably expose me to a lot of ridicule, but I think Tyler Boyd is the second-best receiver in the 2016 class, the 1B to Laquon Treadwell's 1A. Yes, better than Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson, Michael Thomas or Sterling Shepard. Boyd's Combine, specifically his 40, 3 cone, vertical and broad jump, are actually a lot more solid that draft blowhards would lead you to believe. Additionally, and much more importantly, he's a baller who consistently makes the clutch plays, a firebreather who clearly loves the mano-a-mano competition with opposing defensive backs. He has some limitations, but can play on the outside or in the slot, can run most of the pro routes, has incredible hands and ball-tracking ability, and offers some gadget play experience taking reverses or option handoffs out of the backfield.
I would love the Redskins to draft him in the second round, as I think he fits Jay Gruden's system and Scot McCloughan's mold as a tough "football player". He could be groomed and taught by Garcon and Jackson this year, and take over after one or both of them depart in 2017.