Tajh Boyd on December 31, 2012: 346 yards passing, 72 percent completions, two passing TDs, one rushing TD, and a game-winning drive as Clemson beat LSU, 25-24. Sure, it was a meaningless bowl game, but it should be noted that five of LSU’s defensive players were taken in the first three rounds of the 2013 NFL draft.
Boyd’s awesome performance sent him soaring up Mock draft boards in January – I had him sneaking into the 1st round – but the NFL Draft Advisory Committee (read about that motley crew here) said he was a “mid-round” pick. So Boyd returned to Clemson. Mel Kiper liked him so much that in May, 2013, Kiper projected Boyd as the 2nd best QB for the 2014 draft. Right before the 2014 season, Kiper had Boyd as the 4th best draftable QB – one spot ahead of Johnny Manziel! (Nope, Blake Bortles isn’t on that list.)
Then the 2013 season happened, and after a hot start, Boyd hit a brick wall against FSU in October. In a battle of Top 5 teams, a nation watched as Boyd turned the ball over three times, completed just 45 percent of his passes, and looked thoroughly confused against a loaded defense. Clemson was humiliated at home, 51-14.
Boyd’s poor performance coincided with the rise of Manziel, Fresno’s Derek Carr, and UCF’s Bortles. Boyd fell out of the Heisman race and might as well have fallen off the planet. Boyd was so off the radar that a 2-interception, one fumble performance against South Carolina in the season finale barely registered.
But Boyd briefly returned again – in another bowl game – when he outdueled Braxton Miller of Ohio State in a 40-35 victory. Five touchdown passes, over 500 yards of total offense, a speedy touchdown run – yeah, Boyd once again looked like a future pro. Sammy Watkins really stole the show with a record-setting performance, and Miller’s 4th quarter meltdown was probably the 2nd biggest story.
Fast forward to this week at the Senior Bowl and what are people saying about Boyd?
Packers scout “based on what I’m seeing Tahj Boyd is not draftable”
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 20, 2014
Hilarious. The Packers, after Aaron Rodgers was hurt, trotted out Seneca Wallace, Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. A combined eight touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 2-4-1 mark (plus losing the game Rodgers was injured in). They only got to the playoffs because Rodgers bailed them out in the 4th quarter of the final game of the regular season. You’re telling me that’s not a team that could use Tajh Boyd as one of its backups?
The draft is five months away, and the smokescreens have begun in earnest. Hey Chicago, you’re going to lose
Cade Josh McNown, but Tajh Boyd sucks! Minnesota, you have three QBs on your roster, none of which you love, but Tajh Boyd is terrible, we wouldn’t touch him.
What’s more likely – Boyd drops into the 3rd-4th-5th round, or goes undrafted? When will Vegas release odds on that?
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