Tyler Boyd, WR
School: Pittsburgh | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 197 lbs.
Projected Draft Status: 2nd - 3rd Round | Actual: 2nd Round (55th overall) by the Cincinnati Bengals
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.
I made a very bold prediction earlier this year before the draft, saying Boyd was the 2nd-best receiver in this year's class, behind Laquon Treadwell and ahead of Josh Doctson:
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.
Tyler Boyd was held on this play. He still made the catch. pic.twitter.com/mPswVDo4gr— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) August 8, 2016
Most every day, Tyler Boyd makes a play that makes you sit up and take notice. Undeniable he will be big part of this offense. #Bengals— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 6, 2016
Adam Jones calls rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd: "Cadillac." Says he's that smooth.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) August 6, 2016
Tyler Boyd & AJ Green going to make Dalton look like Aaron Rodgers... That's not fair...— Brennan Marion (@CoachMilkMan412) August 3, 2016
Remember when Keenan Allen ran a 4.71 40? #tylerboyd— Brian Hawkes (@bdhawkes) July 30, 2016
How He Makes the Bengals Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
Sometimes you gotta toot your own horn. So far Tyler Boyd is looking pretty incredible in camp, surprising even die-hard Bengals fans who watch their team very closely. He's already earned playing time with the 1st team opposite of A.J. Green, made many impressive catches, earned the respect of veterans and even threw an 80-yard touchdown pass on a trick play (I called out his ability as a "gadget" weapon in my original player profile).
I'm not however, incredibly worried about him as a threat when the Redskins face the Bengals in London on October 30. We have two very physical outside corners in Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland who match up well against leaner, finesse guys like Green and Boyd (if he's starting and healthy). So while I like Boyd a lot as a young weapon for the Bengals offense and a good player for the future, I don't see him causing a lot of damage against our particular secondary in his rookie year. We will have many other problems to solve if we want to beat the Bengals, who have solid coaching and a deep, talented roster.