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Tajh Boyd: Breaking Down Clemson QB's Pro Day Workout

Oct 5, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) warms up prior to the game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IMarch 6, 2014

Tajh Boyd might not be coming into the 2014 NFL draft as one of the first-round prospects at the quarterback position, but he is still certainly one to watch during the offseason.   

After putting together a solid performance at the NFL Scouting Combine that didn't really help or hurt his prospects of moving up in the draft, Boyd participated in Clemson's pro day Thursday to boost his draft stock.

Mike Mayock of the NFL Network provided his analysis of the Clemson quarterback before his pro day workouts got underway, via NFL.com:

In 40 starts, he won 32 games. So the kid's a winner, he's a playmaker and he's got some arm talent. That's what scouts like about him.

He's highly inconsistent from an accuracy perspective and his pocket awareness is the big problem. As soon as he sees a flash of color, he's out of the pocket. He's a little bit of a developmental pick. I think he'll go late in the draft.

That's a stark change from Mayock's prediction at the combine, when he said he could be a mid- to late-round pick, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

With a chance to erase some of those questions about his talent, Boyd took to the field at his old stomping grounds in Clemson.

 

Tajh Boyd's Pro Day Results

Sep 28, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The first workout of the day for many of the prospects was the 40-yard dash. And after running an official 4.84 time at the combine, Boyd decided to stick with his time and skip the workout.

Boyd wasn't the only top prospect at the pro day to watch during the first workout, per Aaron Brenner of the Charleston Post and Courier:

Doesn't look like Tajh Boyd, Martavis Bryant or Sammy Watkins will run today. Combine times: Bryant 4.42, Watkins 4.43, Boyd 4.84. #Clemson

— Aaron Brenner (@Aaron_Brenner) March 6, 2014

After making the decision to not run again in the controlled environment, the 6'1" signal-caller began warming up to participate in throwing drills. Despite already throwing at the combine, Boyd still had something to prove to scouts in attendance.

In fact, the throwing drills would be the only workout Boyd would participate in throughout the pro day. In an interview with Pete Yanity during the ESPN3 broadcast, Boyd spoke about what he's been focusing on during the offseason:

A lot of what I've been working on is quarterback things. Focusing on breaking down tape and things like that to be prepared for any question that comes my way throughout the process. I've also focused on mechanical things because apparently I have some issues with my mechanics.

Suffice it to say, the quarterback workouts were a focal point for the ACC record-holder in passing (107) and total touchdowns (133) in a career.

And with the likes of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryanttwo of the top receivers in the upcoming draftbeing his targets along with his other former wide receivers, Boyd looked much more comfortable during the drills.

But the question remained—did Boyd's mechanics improve?

We at least know his accuracy to the receivers in the open field was nearly perfect, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

QB Tajh Boyd has completed 39 of his first 40 passes. Martavis Bryant had a drop. #ClemsonProDay pic.twitter.com/rlsKReVIc8

— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) March 6, 2014

Ledbetter had more on Boyd's pro day:

He completed 66 of 67 passes while throwing to wide receivers Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant and running back Rod McDowell.

“That was an impressive display,” St. Louis general manager Les Snead said.

Following the open-field passing drills, the workout moved into the red zone. With the same targets, Boyd connected on a series of fade routes and rollouts into the end zone and completed every one of them.

With the exception of a pass that carried Bryant out of bounds in the right corner of the end zone, Boyd once again showed that he could complete nearly any pass from behind center.

Larry Williams of Rivals.com gave his thoughts on the former Clemson quarterback following the drills:

Will be shocked if the reviews of Tajh Boyd's Pro Day are anything but glowing. He was sensational, virtually flawless.

— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) March 6, 2014

Though Boyd received great remarks from a reporter who covered him throughout his college tenure, it's yet to be seen whether he did enough to change the minds of NFL scouts or coaches.

He clearly felt he showed enough during the drills to give his critics what they wanted, per Max Henson of the Carolina Panthers' official site:

Tajh Boyd on his pro day workout: "A lot of people had questions about my accuracy & arm strength. I feel like I answered those questions."

— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) March 6, 2014

Thanks to the numbers he put up at the combine and his accuracy during the pro day, Boyd will still find himself selected during the draft in May. But following a good showing at his workout, he might be able to put himself ahead of other quarterbacks in the class.

Now all Boyd can do is wait. Wait to see where he's drafted. Wait to find out what team takes him. And, most importantly, wait to see whether he gets a chance to start in the NFL.

 

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