Green Bay Packers
Fifth Round: 167th Pick
Josh Boyd is an athletic defensive tackle who has had a solid career playing in the toughest division in college football. He should be no stranger to top-tier competition and can provide a team with reliable tackling and a powerful anchor.
Though most of Boyd’s plays come on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage, he does have the tools to potentially be an effective run-stopper at the next level.
Boyd has decent strength with the ability to anchor effectively.
He’s a good athlete in space with agile, fluid movements. Boyd has a pretty good burst/quickness which he seems to use well in pursuit. Watching him back-peddle and flip his hips might be his rarest and most impressive attribute.
Penetration issues are a major concern considering his projected NFL position will require heavy production in this facet or else he will not have retainable value on a roster. Boyd’s hand technique is ineffective more often than not in generating anything of value.
When taken as a whole, he seems stuck in "no man's land" considering he lacks both the raw power to physically dominate his opponent and the cunning necessary to outmaneuver him.
He also fails to stand ground when taking on double teams and has a noticeably limited motor.
At 6’3” 310-pounds, Boyd looks the part of an NFL defensive tackle. But many teams will be concerned with his arm length (32-inches) especially considering it seems to hold him back significantly on film. However, it should be worth noting that in terms of overall physical tools, Boyd is certainly in the same ball park as the highly touted Sharrif Floyd.
Floyd has the edge in explosiveness and overall quickness, while Boyd has a little bit more meat on his bones. This comparison does speak favorably to the former Bulldog’s overall potential.
Josh Boyd is ideally suited to play 3-technique in a 4-3 front but must learn how to generate more push and establish himself in opposing backfields if he is to have any career longevity. The good news is that he possesses the athleticism to get there.
Though not ideal, he potentially could translate as a defensive end in a two-gap 3-4 system.
His play does not scream high effort but rather that of a guy who’s looking to reserve energy in his tank. For the most part, he seems to have issues with attrition. This causes him to shut down his strategic mind and transition into a lumbering, leaning body which shows itself often in key moments of a game.
Shows a little bit of wiggle but it tends to be east and west rather than north and south, or he does a lot of moving and fighting but goes nowhere. After doing this for a few counts, Boyd concedes to just getting in the QB’s passing lane or waiting for him to scramble. He does not try to force the issue of pressure with an arsenal of pass-rush moves and counters, or even leg drive which could potentially flush the QB off his spot by collapsing the pocket.
Josh likes to wrap around the offensive line to make plays on the quarterback and has the quickness to do it. This allows him to avoid dancing in place against blockers due to deficiencies in hand technique.
Against the run
His low center of gravity helps his functional strength, which allows him to get a good push on the offensive lineman. Doesn't really attempt to shed blocks and prefers to ride along with them on his way to the ball-carrier.
For the most part he has a decent anchor but fails to hold up against double teams. He fails to stay low enough against those double-teams and ends up being driven back more than he should.
There’s also a tendency to pop his head up and look around for the ball instead of snapping off the block, this hurts his leverage and effectiveness.
Boyd is a good form tackler who wraps and takes the ball-carrier down without giving up extra yardage.
His strong grip serves him well when bringing down running backs as he rarely allows anyone to escape his grasp.
Use of hands
Extends his arms consistently which keeps the blocker at bay but does it also speaks to a concerning inability to use his hands effectively for shedding blocks or penetrating gaps. In regards to shedding blocks, he failed to show the suddenness with his hands required to free himself from an unwanted engagement.
Scheme versatility/ future role
Boyd’s impressive athletic ability gives him an additional value as the designated hole-dropper or spy in certain disguised coverage’s or zone-blitzes.
Has a limited frame for adding size which makes him unlikely to play nose or 1-technique at the next level, which is unfortunate because the 3-tech generally needs to be able to shoot gaps.
Josh Boyd's future in the NFL is likely as a part-time role player who can add solid depth to a 4-3 defensive line. If he can improve his hand technique, Boyd does have the athleticism to add pass-rush production to the interior line at the next level. Also, his physical tools project well for a defense with a propensity for loop stunts and games upfront. This frees him up from line-dancing with the blocker and allows him to hit daylight where he sees it with his natural quickness and agility.