By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Tajh Boyd says there are people out there that are worried more about his draft stock than he is. The former Clemson quarterback was one of 10 former Tigers who worked out Thursday for NFL scouts, coaches and general managers at the Indoor Practice Facility next to the Jervey Athletic Center.
“I’m sitting there like, ‘hold on!’ If it happens it happens, wherever I go,” Boyd said. “Whether it is in the first (round) or the seventh, I feel like I’m going to go out here and compete and play for a while. That is what I want to do.
“As long as I have an opportunity, that’s all I can ask for.”
Boyd more than likely gave himself an opportunity thanks to the way he performed at Clemson’s Pro Day. Boyd, who threw for more than 11,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in his four years at Clemson, probably earned himself a few more private workouts with NFL teams and assured himself of at least of draft selection.
He did not miss on any of his throws and he looked as if he improved on the things scouts wanted him to work on such as his release—which was must faster getting out of his hand—and his accuracy.
“I saw what I expected to see,” NFL Network’s Draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “He has arm talent and he is an athletic kid. He spun the ball extremely well today. The things that he does not do as well will not show up on Pro Day.
“I believe in the kid and I believe in his ability. I just think it is going to take him a year or two in an NFL system as a back up to try and get a bunch of reps. Maybe in two or three years from now he can compete for a starting job.”
Mayock says Boyd will more than likely go no earlier than in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. As for the guys Boyd was throwing the ball to this afternoon, let’s just say they didn’t miss a beat.
“Overall, this group probably had the smoothest and prettiest pro day of any here,” former wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. “We came out here and caught all the balls. And off course, our leader, Tajh Boyd, led today and we put on a show.”
Watkins put on a show, too. He again showed why he is expected to be the No. 1 wide receiver taken in May’s draft.
“I think he is a top-five talent,” Mayock said. “Whether or not he gets picked there, a lot of that will be on some things he can’t control like where those three quarterbacks go.
“He is powerful. He is a world class sprinter. He catches the ball flawlessly. But what separates him though is his run after the catch and his toughness. I rarely see wide receivers with his toughness.”
Mayock rarely sees an offensive guard rep 225 pounds 40 times, either while also producing a 9.2 vertical jump. But that is what he saw from Tyler Shatley.
“He is the kind of kid that if you get him in camp he is going to be difficult to cut,” Mayock said.
Shatley says he has talked with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. He is hoping Thursday’s workouts will attract a few more teams to increase his chances of getting invited to camp or being drafted.
“All the hard work is paying off so hopefully I ran my last 40 for a while and I can stop doing all this training for the small guys and we can do some big-guy training now and some offensive line work,” he said.
Speaking of the small guys, running back Roderick McDowell performed well as did linebacker Quandon Christian, cornerback Bashaud Breeland and wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
“He caught the ball well today,” Mayock said about Bryant. “He is one of those guys in the NFL with the back-shoulder fade. The big body wide receiver is in. He can catch the ball outside the numbers and in the red zone. He has value.”
Mayock says Bryant has third-round value, as does Breeland.
“I thought he looked smooth in the drills,” Mayock said. “I thought his change of direction for a big guy looked good. Again, I thought he would be better off coming back and playing another year to get more positive tape than he has right now. Because of his length, his smoothness and his fluidity as an athlete, he probably goes in the third round.”