Senior Watch: Brandon Boykin, UGA


University of Georgia defensive back/punt returner/running back Brandon Boykin is a hard player to figure out.  There are so many things about the guy to like however; there are still those pesky concerns that linger in the back of your head.  This equation has made it hard for mockers to really get a solid read on where he will end up come draft day.  I’ve seen him as high as the end of the first round and as low as mid-third.  We’ll take a look at what makes him so good, so risky, and where he’ll end up. 

 

What to Like:

Boykin is an incredibly versatile athlete; he is more a great football player, who just happens to play cornerback.  At the NFL level he will be able to provide teams a dynamic playmaker who naturally desires to be on the field as much as possible.  Reports have surfaced that Boykin is toying with the safety position and if he could prove valuable there, then his stock would surely rise in, what I consider, a league that could use about 40 better safetys.

Boykin is also very physical, he isn’t afraid to get handsy which could also be a downfall but I do like a physical corner who can match up against high profile receivers (Alshon Jeffery for example) and still have a reputation to speak of.   His speed and fluidity in transition makes him very good and his knack for the ball is something to consider.  He may not make a ton of interceptions but he does seem to always be around every play.  Boykin has also demonstrated ability to make plays in the running game.

Boykin takes nice angles in route to tackles, he seems to play the game with very solid mechanics, and should be very polished in the NFL after little time

 

What not to like:

Boykin is a small corner at about 5’9 and a little over 180.  This will make him susceptible to being on the losing end of a lot of NFL jump balls.  This particular attribute leads a lot of expert analysts to believe that Boykin will never be anything but a slot corner.

Boykin is very physical; this sometimes leads to him being a little over-aggressive.  This may leave him a liability when in man-to-man coverage without a safety overtop to have his back.  He’ll need to be able to differentiate what situation and throws are the right ones to jump on.

Despite Boykins natural ability to flat out play football, he has shown lapses of coverage breakdowns and has struggled against some of the higher profile SEC teams.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m concerned about him at the next level, but it does mean the Senior Bowl and Combine will greatly impact how he is viewed by scouts.  Sounds like he’s off to a good start.

 

Summary:

I haven’t missed many UGA games this year, I’ve been a fan of Boykin all season as well.  He has been ranked all over the place, however, he is a coaches dream: a player who is willing to do everything on the field.  He has been very successful as a punt returner and running back and will continue to be a triple threat at the next level.  He will need to retain his great work ethic and have great focus to hone his coverage awareness but he will undoubtedly produce at the next level and could become a big time player with proper coaching.

 

Professional Comparisons:

Ronde Barber

Charles Woodson

 

Draft Possibilities:

Currently: 2.45 to Dallas Cowboys

Boykin has reportedly talked to Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, and Philadelphia so far and all seem pretty interested in his versatility in defending the evolving passing game of the NFL.   I can however see the Cowboys going with Markelle Martin here among others and if more polished cornerbacks are on the board it could get a little bit hairy.  Boykins versatility makes him a fit in a complex Rob Ryan defense, especially if they want to move Scandrick to an outside CB.  Boykin seems to be in a stock situation that is constantly rising and falling.

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