Virginia Tech Senior
Has good size and hands. Can make the grab in traffic, using his size to get position over the middle. Adjusts to the throw and fairly consistently will catch the ball away from his body. Can adjust to the back shoulder throw and extend to make the high throw. Has good ball skills and will attack underthrown jump balls in the air. Occasionally will be able to beat the jam when running the go route. Can be a load after the catch due to his size against undersized corners, and will lower the shoulder to run over the defensive back. Will occasionally flash quickness as a runner after the catch. Gives good effort as a blocker, doing a good job getting position against the corner and redirecting him. Flashes some mean streak and will block beyond the whistle at times. Does a good job consistently hitting his assignments as a blocker, whether he's facing up the corner, cutting him to spring a teammate on a screen. Does a nice job working back to the quarterback on the scramble drill.
Lacks speed and burst. Will struggle to separate from NFL corners and is not sudden or explosive. Can struggle to beat press, as he can get jammed up at the line of scrimmage and knocked off his route. WIll have some lapses in concentration, letting some passes get into his body. Doesn't always secure the ball before he starts to run. And doesn't have the speed or burst to really make plays there. Inconsistent effort as a blocker when they run to the opposite field and needs to do a better job getting his hands on the corner to maximize his size.
Boykin is a big receiver that has good hands, size, and can be a very good run blocker. He's become very used to working with mobile QBs from his days at Tech. That probably benefits him because of their ability to extend plays, allowing him to break open a few more times than his natural speed and separation would normally allow. But he has the potential to be an effective role player in a run-first offense that can help move the chains and add some depth at the next level.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/1) vs. Clemson: 7 targets, 3 rec., 10 yds (3.3 avg), 15 YAC (5.0 avg), 0 TDs; 0 drops
(11/10) at Georgia Tech: 6 tgt., 2 rec., 40 yds (20.0 avg), 0 YAC (0.0 avg), 1 TDs; 1 drop
(11/17) vs. North Carolina: 14 tgt., 10 rec., 106 yds (10.6 avg), 60 YAC (6.0 avg), 0 TDs; 2 drops, 2 key blocks
(11/26) at Virginia: 8 tgt., 4 rec., 44 yds (11.0 avg), 8 YAC (2.0 avg), 1 TDs; 3 drops
(1/3) vs. Michigan: 4 tgt., 4 rec., 30 yds (7.5 avg), 22 YAC (5.5 avg), 0 TDs; 0 drops, 2 key blocks
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 67 rec., 761 yds, 12.5 avg, 5 TDs
- missed 1 game in 2011 due to a hamstring injury
Boykin has some ability to develop at the next level. He's similar to a past Virginia Tech receiver in Ernest Wilford, except about 2 inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Wilford was coming out of Virginia Tech. While Wilford was able to become a starter for a few years in Jacksonville, he was underwhelming in that role and ultimately moved to tight end. I don't see that happening for Boykin, but he's also unlikely to be a mid-round pick like Wilford which won't allow him to be afforded such opportunities. For Boykin to develop, he'll likely have to play early on special teams. If he cannot, then it's going to be hard for him to make an NFL roster. While he has certain tools that can make him attractive to NFL teams, he'll never really be a playmaker, or the type of reliable possession receiver that can be productive in a starting role. His best fit probably is playing on a team with a mobile QB that likes to scramble and also likes to run the ball. He would have been a good fit on the old Falcon teams with Vick as the QB, because his inability to separate would not have been a huge problem on that team because Vick's ability to extend plays would allow him to break off his routes and just use his size and body to get position similar to Brian Finneran, who was similarly a guy that struggled to separate. But he's not as big as Finneran, and the fact that he only had 11 bench press reps at the Combine is a bit troublesome. A guy with his size should be able to put up at least 15, if not 20 reps ideally. Ultimately, I think Boykin can potentially develop into a nice No. 3 or 4 option on a run-first team if he can produce early on special teams. He's a good player, but because so much about the NFL is geared towards the big, explosive plays, something he'll struggle to provide, it's going to be hard for him to really stick long-term with most teams. As a guy that is most likely to be a 20-30 catch receiver at most, unless he becomes an ace special teams player, his production just won't be enough to be more than a journeyman player.
Boykin brings a lot of the same things that Kerry Meier brought to the table, which is good hands and size, but questionable speed and quickness. And while Meier has had his moments during the preseason, he has yet to really show the sort of quickness and burst, and route-running ability that will make him a guy that can separate. And thus it's why Meier hasn't garnered much playing time on offense. I like Boykin a little more than I liked Meier coming out of Kansas, but there's no real reason to think that he's going to be a much better Falcon than he is. More than likely, he comes in and becomes a practice squad player, and then a year or two down the line can be an effective No. 5 receiver if he takes to special teams. But more than likely, he'll just be a depth guy that might be able to move up to No. 4 spot down the road and be a decent 20-catch guy in Atlanta. But it's doubtful that he's going to stick beyond two or so years before the Falcons find someone with more upside.
Boykin has the talent of a fifth round pick, but because he's not going to come in right away and produce, he's probably best value waiting until the seventh round if not until undrafted free agency. If you're comfortable with his ability to perform on special teams, then you can take him in the seventh round. If not, then you're better off waiting to snag him as an undrafted player.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
After Catch: 4.0
Body Control: 6.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.