At one point last fall, Boyd was regarded as a first-round draft pick. His stock has slipped significantly since then. He excelled in the 2013 opener against then-No. 5 Georgia, throwing for 270 yards and three touchdowns against no interceptions but struggled in high-profile games against Florida State and South Carolina.
He completed just 17 of 37 passes for 156 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the 51-14 demolition at the Seminoles’ hands, losing a key early fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
At South Carolina, he completed 19 of 27 passes for 225 yards but threw for no touchdowns and two interceptions. He also lost a key fumble early in the fourth quarter inside the Gamecocks’ 35-yard line with Clemson trailing 24-17, which was a key factor in the Tigers’ 31-17 defeat.
For the year, he threw for 3,851 yards with 34 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, completing 68.5 percent of his passes. He also ran for 400 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Boyd’s Senior Bowl experience didn’t go much better. He started for the North team but completed just seven of 16 passes for 31 yards with an interception and didn’t play after the first quarter.
During a recent media teleconference, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said Boyd is projected as a “fifth- to sixth-round pick.”
“A Day Three quarterback who certainly will play in the NFL, as a backup hopefully for a lot of years,” Kiper said. “As a starter? Debatable.”
Scouts want to see Boyd improve his accuracy. His height (officially 6’0.875” at the Senior Bowl) is also a concern, although with smaller quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees excelling in the NFL, that issue could be mitigated.
At the combine, he will be joined by underclassman quarterbacks who didn’t compete at the Senior Bowl like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater.
Boyd has always responded well to criticism, and a few weeks off to train and prepare will likely do him good. Don’t expect a total bounce-back, but he should solidify mid-round status with a solid effort.
Prediction: 10 bench press reps, 4.72 40-yard dash.