MOBILE, Ala. -- It’s been a rough week in Mobile for Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. While there were doubts even before he arrived at the Senior Bowl, he’s really been piled on this week.
On Monday, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net tweeted that he had been told by a Green Bay Packers scout that "based on what I'm seeing Tahj Boyd is not draftable." Pauline then doubled down on Wednesday, tweeting out that “another league insider told me they would not use a draft pick on the QB.”
So how bad was Boyd? Was he as bad as Pauline and his insiders say? Were his struggles a surprise?
While Boyd didn’t have a great week, he certainly wasn’t alone as four out of six quarterbacks struggled here in Mobile, while the last two (Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo) were far from perfect.
In fact, while Boyd wasn’t outstanding, he was better overall than San Jose State’s David Fales or Miami’s Stephen Morris.
Boyd made some boneheaded plays, to be sure. At one point Tuesday, Boyd threw a ball directly into a defensive lineman. He also bobbled a snap and had accuracy issues all three days of practice this week (just like all the quarterbacks in his group). However, he ended the week with a solid Wednesday practice and showed some improvement each day.
None of Boyd’s struggles should come as a surprise given his sometimes inconsistent play this season.
The same issues which were there all year—things like the occasional odd arm angles and release points—were nothing new. He’ also still smaller than what the prototypical quarterback looks like.
However, on the less-talked about positive side, Boyd showed good overall velocity on his throws and hit most of his shorter passes. Word around town is that he also came across well in interviews and among teammates in the huddle.
Boyd absolutely struggled, but based on three practices, it seems absurd to write him off.
The Clemson quarterback is just as much of a project here in Mobile as he was before he arrived. That hasn’t changed, and it’s hard to imagine anyone was surprised, any more than they were surprised that Fales, Morris or Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas are projects.
Most of the quarterbacks in Mobile can be categorized that way, and even the more highly-rated ones like Carr and Garoppolo have flaws which need to be worked out.
I’m not terribly high on Boyd, and I haven’t been since long before this week. So I’m not defending him from the standpoint that he’s being overlooked or is a great quarterback people refuse to see.
I am merely pointing out that reports like the one above lack any context and seem wildly inflammatory. We don’t know who any of these sources really are, save one works for the Packers. Does he scout quarterbacks? Has he watched Boyd’s tape, or is he basing things on this week (it would seem from Pauline’s quote that it would be the latter).
It’s not a shock that Green Bay isn’t looking at a quarterback like Boyd, as they haven’t been successful with project quarterbacks in the past (Brian Brohm anyone)? Could the scout have said the same about any of the quarterbacks here? Did anyone ask?
Is it possible teams will be turned off by his play here? Absolutely, although I’d assume that they came in already down on him based on his film.
However as much as Boyd struggled in Mobile, nothing happened here that we haven’t seen before.
And as that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine anyone has written him, or any other prospect, off this early in the process based on one week.