Tajh Boyd Scouting Report
Tajh Boyd, 6-0/222
By Charlie Campbell
Throws a good deep ball
Can make all the NFL throws
Distributes the ball to a variety of weapons
Toughness; has held up under lots of hits as a runner and passer
Improved throughout college
Must maintain conditioning
Questions about his intelligence?
Boyd is one of the most glaring love or hate prospects early into the 2014 draft season. There are some teams that like Boyd and believe in him, while others think he's third-day pick. WalterFootball.com surveyed seven teams, with four saying they have him as a third-rounder. One said he was in the 2-3 range; another said he was a late third- or fourth-round pick; while a final team saying he belonged on Day 3. Boyd had a good college career, but has some issues to iron out in order to be a starter in the NFL.
Boyd broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and was a dominant play-maker for the Tigers at times in 2011. He completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,828 yards with 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Boyd had huge games against Auburn, Florida State, North Carolina and Maryland early on. He slowed down in the second half of the year, but played well to end the season.
Boyd elevated his play to another level in 2012. The junior had a dominant season and was a force through the air. He carried Clemson to an 11-2 record and a last-minute comeback win over LSU in the season finale. Boyd completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,896 yards with 36 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran well with 769 yards (514 net) and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Boyd completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,851 yards with 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2013. He ran for 634 yards (400 net) and 10 touchdowns. Boyd struggled against Florida State and South Carolina. He had a costly fumble and a pair of interceptions in each game. However, he ended his collegiate career in impressive fashion to lead Clemson to a win over Ohio State.
Boyd had many prolific games as a senior, including a massive performance against Georgia Tech where he put on a clinic for throwing deep balls. Boyd opened 2013 with a gritty performance to lead the Tigers to a win over Georgia. He made clutch plays all night and would have had an even bigger game if his receivers hadn't dropped so many passes. Boyd completed 18-of-30 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns. He ran for 42 yards on 13 carries and two scores on the ground as well.
There is a lot to like about Boyd. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws. He lays out an excellent deep ball and challenges defenses vertically. Boyd is very mobile to dodge sacks and is a good runner. Boyd was Clemson's short-yardage running back, and he took a pounding. Boyd showed his toughness by making all his starts and producing. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Boyd is a natural leader and a positive force in the locker room. He also has a good work ethic and players gravitate towards him. Boyd definitely has tools to work with.
On the negative side, Boyd has to improve his accuracy. His ball placement can be off routinely, and he has a habit of leading his receivers too much. Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Dwayne Allen could track down those passes, but other receivers had trouble doing it. Boyd must get more accurate for the next level. There are also questions about his intelligence, so Boyd is going to need some development in the class room and translating that to the field.
The team that drafts Boyd needs to put in some developmental time and believe in him as a 2-3 year project. He'll need stability in that coaching staff. If Boyd doesn't turn into a starter, he could be a good backup.
Player Comparison: Russell Wilson.
Obviously, nobody should expect Boyd to be as good as Russell Wilson. That isn't fair to Boyd. That being said, they have a similar playing style and skill set. Scouts have compared Boyd to Wilson in the past. Both are short quarterbacks who have strong arms with plus athletic ability to make plays with their feet. They are strong for their size and are able to withstand hits. Wilson was a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the majority of teams project Boyd to be a third-rounder in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Arizona
There are a lot of quarterback-needy teams that could select Boyd on the second or third day of the 2014 NFL Draft. If one of the quarterback-needy teams in the top 10 drafts a different position, Boyd could be their target on Day 2.
The Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders and Vikings are all in need of a franchise quarterback. Boyd would make sense as a backup plan if they don't land a quarterback in the first round.
Tampa Bay could also have interest in Boyd depending on how the new regime feels about Mike Glennon. The Arizona Cardinals could also groom Boyd to be the heir apparent to Carson Palmer.
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