Welcome to 20/20. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine later this month, we’ll be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2016 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name — Tyler Boyd
2.) College — Pittsburgh
3.) Height/Weight — 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
4.) Birth date — 11/05/1994
5.) Class — Junior
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6.) Basic college stats —
2015 – 91 receptions 926 yards 10.2 YPR 6 TD
2014 – 78 receptions 1261 yards 16.2 YPR 8 TD
2013 – 85 receptions 1,174 yards 13.8 YPR 7 TD
7.) NFL Draft round projection — Day two. Before 2015, he would have been a likely first round pick but he should not slip too far as teams will covet his polish.
8.) Current NFL comp — Keenan Allen and Amari Cooper. Comparisons are always difficult but Boyd has the advanced understanding of the game, running routes smoothly and displaying consistent hands. While Boyd is not the fastest player, he is creative with the ball in his hands, making him a threat on any type of play.
9.) Best possible destination — New York Giants. While I do not see Boyd as a game-changing top receiver, he could do real damage in an established offense with an opening opposite a dominant player (Odell Beckham Jr.). Having a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning would make Boyd a startable asset in his rookie year with little competition for targets outside of Beckham.
10.) Worst possible destination — Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins already have an underneath option (Jarvis Landry) and a downfield threat (Devante Parker), making Boyd a secondary option in either capacity. Targets are already at a premium there and new coach Adam Gase struggles to spread the wealth to all his receiving options.
11.) Best current skill — Hands. Boyd has some of the strongest in the draft. Two 70 percent+ catch rate seasons suggest he uses them quite well. Whether he is wide open or in a contested situation, Boyd’s hands remain a constant. And considering he had a different starting quarterback each year, Boyd was never fully comfortable with any Pittsburgh signal caller.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved — Physicality. Boyd has a slender frame and he has struggled to box out defenders in contested situations. He has compensated with those strong hands and solid body control but there will be cornerbacks looking to bump and disrupt Boyd on every play.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP — 3rd overall since December. Was 4th prior to that time.
14.) Projected dynasty value — Boyd may have the safest floor of any wide receiver. His hands and route running place him as a good possession receiver at worst and a well-rounded yardage machine with limited touchdown upside at best.
15.) Hard Target — In all three seasons, Boyd had at least 119 targets. That number went up every year (119 to 122 to 128) as the team became more reliant on his contributions. This led to Boyd having multiple catches in every game of his college career.
16.) 2015, you so mean! — Just when we thought the portrait of Boyd was complete, 2015 happened. Boyd carried the ball 40 times in 2015 after just 23 carries the first two years combine. Add in a career low 10.2 yards per catch with just 10 receptions of 20+ yards (on 91 catches) and Boyd morphed into a pure possession receiver.
17.) DUI Decimal System — Boyd was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in June of 2015. He ended up getting suspended during the summer and the season opener as a result. This has been underplayed during the draft process but hopefully this was an aberration instead of what’s to come.
18.) The Need for Speed — One of the big questions for Boyd will be how he grades out in various speed related drills. At the Nike SPARQ combine in 2013, he managed a 4.57 forty yard dash, which would have been just the 29th percentile for the position. Boyd has had three years to mature and several months to train for the combine, will it help?
19.) Does this jersey make me look fat? — While he is not the only one, Boyd needs to add weight to his slender frame in an effort to handle the rigors of the NFL.He excels at the short and intermediate routes, which leaves Boyd susceptible to big hits. If he is to survive (and thrive) as an NFL wide receiver, a few strategically placed pounds could extend his career.
20.) Beat the Streak — Many high school athletes play multiple sports, but for a while, Boyd was not one of them. Determined to end his school’s 48-game losing streak in baseball, Boyd picked up a bat for the first time since little league and hit an inside-the-park home run in his first at bat. He played three games, the team won two of them.