This week we will be taking a look at a UGA product, the versatile Brandon Boykin. Boykin primarily played CB this year but also handled return duties while lining up at RB and WR at times on Georgia offense.
The thing I love the most about Boykin is his versatility, the kid can almost literally line up anywhere. UGA put him at CB, S, WR, RB, KR, and PR. Boykin even went as far to score a touchdown on all 3 sides of the ball during the bowl game against Michigan State, recording a safety at corner, returning a punt for a touchdown, and catching a touchdown at WR from Aaron Murray. You want to get the ball into Boykins' hands. When it's in his hands he is a playmaker as he has uncanny instincts and the speed and agility to make things happen.
Defensively Boykin would be best lined up in the slot playing a rover role similar to Charles Woodson for Green Bay. Boykin is great at reading the quarterback and routes. However he doesn't have instincts in coverage and often the WR gets a step on him while he is getting a read on the play. Boykin was able to correct this in college due to his great closing speed, but in the NFL things like this can't happen on a regular basis. Boykin's technique is sloppy at times but that's something that can be easily worked on. In run support Boykin doesn't always take the best angles but for a guy of his stature but he is very physical and a good tackler. Boykin has several great intangibles, but also a couple of glaring weaknesses that will need to corrected.
Coverage scheme won't be a huge issue with Boykin, he is very aggressive for a guy his size and can play press well. His strengths would be best utilized in a zone scheme where he could read the quarterback and react using his speed and explosiveness. As I stated before, Boykin to me projects to be a guy who's best fit would be as a rover where has the freedom to read the QB and react as necessary. However, he will be a solid player in either system.
As far as the NFC South goes their are a lot of potential suitors for Boykin. The Falcons have shown interest in Boykin having talked to him during the Senior Bowl and attended UGA's pro day. Boykin would be a nice fit for Atlanta as he could help contribute on all three sides of the ball if needed. The Saints could also use another corner having lost veterans Tracy Porter and Leigh Torrence to free agency, but due to bountygate they are likely out of range for Boykin unless they trade up. Both the Bucs and Panthers could use another corner, for the Bucs Aqib Talib might go to prison and Ronde Barber is 37. The Panthers could use a solid nickel to help shore up their pass defense. Overall Boykin is a very solid corner and a great football player, he'll contribute wherever he lands in the NFL.
Previously featured on "From The Birds Nest":