Long-time NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net is at the site of the Senior Bowl practices in Mobilie, Ala. this week, the nation’s premiere college football all-star game where Packers general manager Ted Thompson and a good portion of the team’s scouting and personnel department are checking out over 100 pro football prospects.
Pauline also has an established relationship with the Packers organization, being interviewed for videos on the team’s official website during the week of the Senior Bowl.
So when Pauline talks (or writes), it pays to listen (or read).
On Monday, following the first day of practices for the North squad, Pauline had the following to say about Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, giving a direct quote from an unnamed Packers scout:
Packers scout “based on what I’m seeing Tahj Boyd is not draftable”
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 20, 2014
To be sure, Boyd isn’t being talked about in the same breath as some of this year’s top quarterbacks such as Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Blake Bortles of Central Florida, all of whom figure to go in the first round. But to hear Boyd is not even worthy of being drafted comes as a mild surprise.
Boyd is listed as the 10th ranked quarterback in this year’s draft class by NFLDraftScout.com (the gold standard among NFL draft media outlets) and projected as a fifth round draft choice.
The book on Boyd is that he’s been a very productive college quarterback and good leader for several seasons at Clemson, earning all-conference and All-American honors multiple times. He’s the ACC’s all-time leader in touchdown passes.
Boyd was even named a finalist for Cheesehead TV’s Career Achievement Award, given to a senior for outstanding play over the course of his career, an honor ultimately given to Alabama quarteback A.J. McCarron.
However, good college football players don’t always turn into good professionals with Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne being Exhibit A.
Measuring in at under 6-1, Boyd is slightly shorter than ideal height for an NFL quarterback and has perhaps been made to look better than advertised by one of the best receiving corps in all of college football.
As a senior, Boyd’s top target was Sammy Watkins, who might be the No. 1 wide receiver drafted this upcoming spring to go along with another draftable prospect in Martavis Bryant.
The previous season, Boyd also was also lucky enough to have the services of DeAndre Hopkins, who ended up being a first round draft choice of the Houston Texans and named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team by the Pro Football Writers of America in 2013.
Conceivably, the Packers are lookout for a backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers, coming on the heels of a season that featured a merry-go-round at the position.
Dating back to training camp, the Packers tried the likes of Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman and Vince Young before starting from scratch once the regular season began and bringing in Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and eventually Matt Flynn.
By the end of the season, Flynn provided steady veteran leadership to the Packers but is now a free agent. Tolzien remains under contract, but Green Bay will have to decide whether to sit tight or bring in legitimate competition.
It makes sense that the Packers could look for help in the middle to late rounds of the draft, seeing as they’re simply in the market for a backup to Rodgers and not a potential starter.
But if Pauline’s reporting is to be believed, Boyd isn’t the type of quarterback the Packers will be looking to add.
Filed Under: Packers News