2016 NFL Draft Watch: Part 3

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
6’2″, 185 lbs.

There isn’t a player that has caused me to be more conflicted this season thus far than Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd.  Boyd is widely considered to be one of the best if not the best receiver in the 2016 draft class, and it’s easy to see why he is considered so.  His measurements have him at just over 6’2″ and only 185 lbs, but he plays much bigger than that showing a large catch radius and ability to track the ball in the air.  Much like Sammy Watkins, Boyd gets the most praise for his work after the catch and much of that is warranted as he shows good power and better than adequate speed to separate once the ball is in his hands.

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  • On the other hand, he is not a flawed prospect.  Drops have been a problem, but it isn’t so much volume (1,0, and 2 in the games I watched) as it is when he is making those drops.  The most egregious of these was against Houston where Pitt was trailing by a single point on their final drive, 3rd and 10, Boyd was wide open and thrown a perfect pass. YAC is a strength of his, but it’s frustrating how many times he makes a catch and completely stops or dances before making his move, getting some YAC but leaving yards on the field.  Route running continues to be a problem, but there’s an important caveat I have to make with that statement.

    There are some routes that Tyler Boyd makes that are simply pro ready.  Complex routes seem to be no problem for him, making subtle movements to throw the DB off of him and get into space with a quick step and acceleration.  On the same note, he will run some sloppy basic routes, often on the same drives as the impressive routes, and I haven’t quite figured out why yet.  Character is another concern of Boyd as he was arrested for a DUI this offseason.

    Next: Alonzo Russell, WR, Toledo