NFL Draft 2014: Tajh Boyd scouting notes

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

My preseason notes on Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, who could be a potential Jaguars target due to his seemingly great scheme fit.

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd had a big season last year, helping lead Clemson to an 11-2 record and a victory over a very talented LSU team in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He has been getting a lot of hype from the media this off season as a potential 1st round pick, and due to the likely scenario that the Jaguars need a QB next season he has been talked up as a potential target. I viewed 6 games from his 2012 season (Duke/FSU/NC State/Georgia Tech/South Carolina/LSU) and here is what I came away with.

Measurables

Height: 6'0"- While his height is less than ideal, it is not something to make a big deal about. His height is a complete non factor due to his throwing mechanics, which I will touch on later.

Weight: 225 lbs- Looks a bit heftier than your average QB (this is due to Clemson's scheme IMO) but this does help him absorb hits.

Athleticism/Mobility.

  • Above average in terms of mobility. Not an RG3 like electrifying open field runner, but can get the job done and some.

  • A much better runner when scrambling and improvising then when he runs designed plays. Shows quick feet, very good vision, and ability to lower his shoulder.

  • Almost always knows what lane to run through when tucking the ball and scrambling away. Impressive vision at LOS.

  • Clemson uses him as their short yardage back, a lot of short FB dive like runs up the middle. Hence why I mentioned Clemson may want him on the heavy side. While I dislike this method (a lot) it does show good toughness.

  • Seems very comfortable throwing on the run.

Pocket Presence.

  • Feel for pressure is inconsistent. Flashes brilliant pocket elusiveness, but sometimes bails out of pocket too early. (Here is a good example of Boyd's awareness to pressure and elusiveness)

  • Sometimes reacts to pressure before it even develops, makes too many unnecessary lateral movements.

  • Mechanics normally stay intact amid pressure.

  • Does not go through his progressions well when he feels pressured.

  • Knows when to give up on a play and throw the ball away when he is about to get sacked outside of the pocket.

  • His pocket presence is VASTLY improved from 2011.

  • Stands strong in the pocket vs interior pressure.

  • Pocket presence is impressive considering how bad his Oline play is.

Mechanics

Arm Strength

Accuracy

  • Accuracy is the area Boyd needs to improve the most in, as his short/intermediate accuracy is below average IMO.

  • VERY inconsistent in hitting his WR's in stride, throws behind too often. Especially on Crossing/Slant routes.

  • Throws high very often, and low on occasion.

  • Ball placement is very inconsistent outside of Deep/Out routes.

  • Actually has trouble with checkdowns at times, throws high.

Mental Makeup

  • Needs to go through his progressions better. Appears too rushed and impatient.

  • Stays locked onto 1 WR too often.

  • Fores too many passes into double/triple coverage's, needs to clean up decision making.

  • Has good deep ball accuracy, but sometimes he just lobbed it up there expecting WR to get it.

  • Tough, gritty player.

  • Willing to test defenses vertically.

  • Poor timing and I question his anticipation. Seemed a step behind on a lot of throws, a big reason for his accuracy issues IMO

  • Clemson uses a lot of one read type concepts, and is heavily YAC dependent.

Overall, I am on the fence on Boyd. His 2012 tape does not show the top 10 pick that a lot media is hyping up, but it also does not show the poor QB play that many of the social media scouts perceive him as.

With his severe accuracy issues and simplicity of Clemson's offense, I give him a Mid 2nd round grade, based of 2012 games. As of now, I see him as a Plan B type QB who you pick on day 2 if you miss out on a QB in the 1st round, and the best option for Boyd would probably be to sit and develop a bit.

I am not condemning Boyd in any way at all, just judging his 2012 tape. I have no final opinion on him, because if the 2012 QB class showed us anything it is that we need to let QB's play out their games and see if they develop not. The silver lining to Boyd is how much he has already improved in his college career. He was a vastly better QB in 2012 then he was in 2011, and this shows his willingness to learn and develop. He has all the raw talent that you want in todays NFL QB, he just needs some more time to show that he can put it all together. I do not "dislike" or "like" Boyd per say, but I am certainly very interested in his tools.

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