2014 NFL Draft Profile: Tajh Boyd

2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft
Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports

Once thought to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd has seen his stock fall considerably over the past year.

After leading Clemson past LSU in the Chikc-Fil-A Bowl last winter, Boyd was viewed as a surefire first-round pick. But according to an NFL Draft Advisory Board, he was only a mid-round pick, so he returned for his senior season.

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Prior to the start of this college football season, draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. listed Boyd as the No. 4 quarterback on his Big Board, ahead of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. But as Clemson faded from the top of the rankings, so did Boyd’s draft stock.

In his career at Clemson, which included 40 starts, Boyd has thrown for 11,904 yards and 107 touchdowns compared to 39 interceptions. He threw for 3,851 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions his senior season. This past bowl season, Boyd outshined Braxton Miller as Clemson and Ohio State squared off in the Orange Bowl, with Boyd tossing five touchdown passes and accounting for more than 500 yards of total offense. But still that wasn’t enough to inflate Boyd’s stock as a future NFL signal-caller.

NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline and a Green Bay Packers scout called Boyd “undraftable.” And the Clemson quarterback’s performance during the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Al. justified that notion.

According to the Monday Morning Quarterback, Boyd is the perfect developmental player, as his athleticism and arm serve as a good foundation but his accuracy is an obstacle he’ll need to overcome. Those knocks were echoed by USA Today, which wrote his anticipation and ball placement are glaring issues, and his outing in the Senior Bowl justified those concerns.

Boyd has fallen completely off the radar in most NFL draft rankings. He isn’t listed in the top 10 quarterbacks on Kiper’s Big Board, and he’s considered the 10th-best quarterback by CBS Sports, projected to be a fifth-round selection.

Clearly, Boyd is not going to fall in the first two rounds. The NFL Draft may see three quarterbacks taken off the board in first 10 picks, but from there it’s anybody’s guess. Boyd has been connected to three teams, though, which could take a chance on him on the second day.

The MMQB mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles as a potential landing spot. Boyd’s athleticism and big arm would fit in with Chip Kelly’s system, much like Michael Vick’s did to begin the 2013 regular season. Nick Foles proved he’s worthy of being the Eagles’ starter, but Boyd could be a serviceable backup.

Boyd has also been connected to a pair of quarterback-crazy teams in the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. Boyd stated he would welcome the opportunity to play for Rex Ryan, who last year drafted former West Virginia standout Geno Smith to take over the reigns under center. The Jets are in the market for a backup, but Boyd could be a developmental project as well.

Three different quarterbacks started in the Black Hole this past season, though neither Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin proved they’re worthy of being the No. 1 entering the 2014 season, and Matt Flynn has fled town. The Raiders have acknowledged they’re in the market for a quarterback and have already met with Boyd, who said the Black and Silver seemed to be the most interested in bringing him aboard.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.