Man Coverage – Boyd is wildly inconsistent with his press man technique. There are flashes of dominance in this area, as he competes at the line of scrimmage and will force a wide receiver to the outside. There have been cases of Boyd remaining in-phase and getting on top of vertical routes, running it for the receiver. However, when he misses at the line of scrimmage it can get ugly. He can be a bit jumpy side to side with sluggish feet, unable to transition and falling off-balance. In his man coverage, he is susceptible to double moves because of his aggressiveness. Does a good job learning from mistakes early the game and being more disciplined with his hips later on. Incredibly, incredibly grabby. Pass interference penalties mount up against him as he relies on jersey tugs to slow the receiver, even when he’s in proper position.
Zone Coverage – A predominantly zone scheme may be best for Boyd, as his aggressiveness could be used to slow down the stem of wide receivers without relying on him to stick to a full route tree. Aware in his zone coverages, with proper spacing. Concerns over him in his deep third due to his lack of length, but I like his traits in a cover 2 scheme.
Change of Direction – Boyd’s transitions are fine, and he opens with enough time to match the hip of the wide receiver vertically. He’s shown a quick click and close, and will rally downhill. However, when it comes to matching route breaks, he can occasionally false step. This limits his stickiness in man coverage. General fluidness in his hips is above average.
Ball Skills – This is one of the areas where Boyd excels, as he can track the football with ease. Disrupts and competes at the catch point, looking and leaning when in-phase. Looking for deflections more than interceptions, and has shaky hands when in position to make a play on the ball. Nonetheless, his high number of passes defended is a result of his effortless ball skills and matching the hands of the wide receiver on a consistent basis. His lack on length can really limit his radius and the ball can be played over his head by bigger receivers as a result, even when he’s in position.
Athleticism – Boyd has just average athleticism for the position, as his motor is high but his acceleration is nothing to write home about. His strength can be a bit lacking in the upper body, and this limits his potential in press coverage. Doesn’t possess elite make up speed. Pretty smooth and loose, but I’m concerned that he runs in the mid-to-high 4.5s.
Run Support – There may not be a better run support cornerback in the class, almost to a fault of Boyd. So aggressive against the run and always looking to get involved in the play. Feisty, downhill player with a motor that is always on full go. Will stack and shed receivers like he’s a linebacker, pursuing to the ball at full speed. When asked to blitz off the edge, he did a great job of adjusting to run plays and fitting.
Tackling – His tackling is a strength, as he is so feisty that he is difficult for ball carriers to discard. Even when he’s unable to get them on the ground, he will fight long enough to slow down their path. Flies around in order to bring down ball carriers, and maintains proper pad level. Has the tendency to dip his head, which needs to be fixed for the next level.
BEST TRAIT – Run Support
WORST TRAIT – Man Coverage
RED FLAGS – None
Boyd is an experienced senior cornerback who has played in 45 collegiate games. Entering the season, I tabbed Boyd as the best defensive back in the Big 12 with the potential to sneak into the late first round. After his senior season and Senior Bowl, it’s hard to envision Boyd going before the 5th round. While I appreciate the way he flies around and supports the run, he became too grabby in coverage and was consistently unable to compete above the rim throughout the season. I’ll never question how hard he plays the game and his toughness, but his role at cornerback seems limited to a cover 2 scheme. He may be looked as a candidate to move to free safety. Even then, his mediocre athleticism will limit his potential and could lead to him being exposed vertically. At the very least, he seems scrappy enough to stick around on special teams for whichever teams drafts him. The path to him becoming an NFL starter isn’t unrealistic, but the more likely scenario is a middling depth player with a limited ceiling.