I’m getting into the portion of the offseason when, despite the urging of everyone else involved, I analyze nothing but cornerbacks. Luckily, my fascination with the cornerback position comes in handy in 2012, as the Cowboys desperately need a starter opposite of Mike Jenkins.
I just posted a comparison of free agent cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan, explaining why I prefer the younger Carr. Either way, I think the team should sign a starter at the position in free agency.
Even if the ‘Boys do sign a free agent cornerback, they could look at a rookie as early as the second round of the draft. As we saw last year, cornerback depth is essential in the NFL, and the Cowboys don’t have it.
One possible target in the second (or perhaps even third) round is Georgia’s Brandon Boykin. Boykin is intriguing because he has return ability and can play in the slot.
I posted my scouting report on Boykin at the Times today. Go there to check it out. Here is a clip:
At 5-10, 183 pounds, Brandon Boykin (#2) doesn’t have great size. His height doesn’t necessarily preclude him from playing outside, but there’s a solid chance he will start as and remain a nickel cornerback in the N.F.L. He’s almost assuredly a second-round selection, but I’m not sure Boykin’s game matches up with his projected draft spot.
Boykin tackles poorly and rarely fights off blocks. You can see him have trouble getting off a block at the 50-second mark and at the 1:26 mark in the first video below. At the 1:00 mark, Boykin gets himself so far out of position that he can’t even attempt a tackle.
The above video highlights what Boykin does worst (tackling), as well as what he does best (returning). He’s a fast, shifty return man who has a knack for finding open areas of the field. He reminds me a lot of Pacman Jones in that regard.
So how would Boykin fit in Dallas? Not great, in my view.
A short, slot cornerback who doesn’t tackle better be able to cover, and Boykin simply has too many holes in his game to warrant consideration in the early rounds. He can’t press or play off coverage very well.
His return ability will be enticing, but it certainly doesn’t make up for his weaknesses as a cornerback. I have a fourth-round grade on him.
Previous Scouting Reports