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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Michael Boykin

  • The Draft Network
  • February 8, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – MICHAEL BOYKIN

Michael Boykin is a well-traveled defensive prospect as he originally signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2017 prior to signing with Louisville in 2018. After playing one season there, he then transferred to Tennessee State, where he would only play in one game during his lone season there. He was then on the move again. This time, he transferred to North Alabama where he played during the team's four-game season in 2020.

Ideal Role: Developmental 3-technique in a four-down front.

Scheme Fit: 3-technique in an attacking 4-3 or 4-2-5 defense. 

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Liberty (2020), Jacksonville State (2020), Southern Miss (2020), BYU (2020)

Best Game Studied: Jacksonville State (2020), Southern Mississippi (2020)

Worst Game Studied: BYU (2020)

First-Step Explosiveness: Boykin possesses some initial juice off of the line of scrimmage. He has an active first step that is then followed up with semi-active hands that he’s able to utilize at the point of attack. There are flashes of him containing suddenness, but the consistency with doing so comes and goes too often. 

Flexibility: Playing with a high pad level has become a norm in his game and it will need to be addressed during the early stages of his career. Consistencies in that area will need to be cleaned up, which is one of the bigger reasons for blockers being able to get into his frame. Not playing with much bend or level pads at all with an already tall frame result in many of his quick losses that are suffered soon after the snap. 

Hand Counters: Still needing to add more to his repertoire overall, Boykin’s display of moves can become a bit bland because there are lots of similar tactics that are attempted over and over again. The team that adds him to their roster must work with him in order to develop more moves to his arsenal. Smarter offensive players will be able to pick up on the techniques that he continues to use throughout games and his career.

Hand Power: Having plenty of power at the point of attack, Boykin is able to stack and shed when necessary. A part of his game where he’s been able to display some types of consistencies is wiping his frame clean after initially allowing hands on way too easily. Having proper hand strength enables him to untangle himself and continue through with the process of making plays in different areas. 

Run Defending: Still needing to improve on it overall, he hasn’t found his comfort zone with understanding how to play against it. He has the strength required in order to sustain and eventually detach, but actually putting it to good use on a consistent basis hasn't been widespread throughout games. 

Effort/Motor: Boykin plays the game with lots of energy and constantly continues to come at his matchup. There’s plenty of evidence of his energy being able to overwhelm the opposition and he’s been able to take advantage of that later on in games. 

Football IQ: Boykin has so much energy that there are times where offenses use it against him. Containing it and still being able to hone in on plays is an area that he will need to improve as schemes will eventually continue to allow him to simply run up the field at an uncontrollable rate with plenty of wasted energy.   

Lateral Mobility: When playing under control and actually focusing on the happenings in the backfield, Boykin has the body control necessary in order to redirect and make plays in all directions. Often seen staying flat down the line and eventually catching up after playing chase from the backside, he possesses plenty of range when tasked with interior gaps. 

Core/Functional Strength: Still needing to add strength overall and while his playing weight was doable at the level that he competed at, he will need to gain more weight in order to have a chance to become a contributor at the next level. The added weight could help him become more firm as a run defender and the extra strength could help him as he continues to add more to his arsenal as a pass rusher.

Versatility: Boykin has been utilized mostly as a 3-technique, but he is capable of playing other spots in subpackages or on obvious passing downs. Possessing some twitch to his game, he can thrive when allowed to play forward. Because he has moved around and played in so many different schemes, he hasn’t been able to settle into his own as a result. 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 69/100

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