Xavius Boyd NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2014

Sep 28, 2013; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers linebacker Xavius Boyd (13) celebrates after sacking Navy Midshipmen quarterback John Hendrick (not pictured) in the end zone for a safety during the second half at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Western Kentucky won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Xavius Boyd, OLB, Western Kentucky (HT: 6’1 3/8” WT: 236 lbs)




  • Adequate foot quickness and change-of-direction ability.
  • Rangy enough to cover lots of ground with long speed to close in space.
  • Puts his foot in the ground and breaks forward with fine acceleration.
  • Decisive coming forward to fit the run, gets into gaps before blockers can get to him.
  • Aggressive with his hands to disrupt and reroute receivers in coverage without holding.
  • Spies route-runners well in zone coverage to make anticipatory plays.
  • Shows flashes of hand usage to fight off blocks and scrape quickly.
  • Can be elusive in short areas to dip around blocks, especially in pursuit of perimeter run plays.
  • Wraps well as a tackler, rarely misses when he gets his hands on a ball-carrier.
  • Highly experienced, started a majority of games during all four collegiate seasons.
  • Productive in numerous statistical categories with continuous improvement.



  • Undersized for a traditional linebacker role in the box. Lean frame.
  • Not a technically sound linebacker in terms of footwork and pursuit angles.
  • Lacks ability to read keys and react appropriately with consistency.
  • Prone to false steps due to uncertainty, tends to bounce around at the second level.
  • Too reliant on hand usage to engage route-runners at times instead of moving his feet.
  • Little potential as a pass-rusher, tends to run into blockers instead of into space.
  • Takes gambles in pursuit and takes himself out of plays as a result.
  • Inconsistent firing his hands and taking on blocks with leverage.
  • Can be handled by run-blockers a bit too easily, not enough size and strength taking on blocks.
  • Tends to aim too high as a tackler and not drive through ball-carriers.


Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • Rivals.com rated him as 3-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2010.
  • 2013 first-team All-Sun Belt Conference.
  • Moved from safety position to linebacker before his freshman season at Western Kentucky.
  • East-West Shrine Game participant.


Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.ed.gov.



Xavius Boyd played his college career in the shadow of the more highly regarded Andrew Jackson, who played next to him at inside linebacker. Boyd has a brighter future in the NFL, though.

After learning that Boyd was a converted safety from his high school days, his tendencies as a linebacker make sense. He still has issues with footwork and technique when it comes to linebacker play. His read-and-react deficiencies also make sense.

The plan for Boyd should be to draft him as a depth player in a 4-3 base defense who could be developed into a nickel linebacker at the very least. His athletic potential is worth investing in.

If a team trusts its linebackers coach to grow a young player who's inexperienced at the position but has shown improvement and flashes of brilliance, then Boyd is a smart investment for the future.


Draft Projection

Fifth-round pick.