Sobo's Players #9: RB Cory Boyd

A mid-to-late round running back from South Carolina. Can he make it in the NFL? Here's Sobo's take, along with NFL scout Tom Marino and draft analyst Chris Steuber.

Cory Boyd RB South Carolina

Sobo Sez: The Gamecock running back quietly went about his business amassing a solid senior campaign throughout an up and down South Carolina season in 2007. Totaled 952 yards rushing with 5.0 yards per carry average and 9 touchdowns while relinquishing some repetitions in a running back rotation. Boyd's best effort came against one of South Carolina's top rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers, rushing for a season best of 160 yards.

Boyd is a hardnosed runner with some questions about top end speed. Displays a nice burst into the hole initially and does make decisive cuts. Never quite had that breakout run this past season with a season long of only 29 yards. At the Combine he did surprise NFL personnel by posting a best of 4.46 in his forty yard dash.

A bit of an upright runner at 6 feet 1 inch tall and 213 pounds, Boyd also has soft hands out of the backfield.  As a junior he led all SEC running backs in catches, adding 36 more receptions this past season. Steve Spurrier is not known as having an NFL ready system. The proof is in the pudding, but he does ask his teams to pass early and often. So while Boyd was churning out the yards meticulously down the field, he had to understand all the basic concepts of the passing game as both a receiver and blocker.

 The "Ole Ball Coach" was even more influential in Boyd's personal life. Considering transfer and acting up in his collegiate career, Spurrier suspended the back shortly after the coach's arrival and challenged the young player to step up as both a person and potential leader of the football team. Boyd responded well, becoming the starter the following season and became the prime weapon in the offense. 

Overall, Boyd flashes the talent to potentially become a starter in the NFL, but right now is only a situational back worth a mid to late round selection. 

Tom Marino, NFL Scout: Has good vision and feel running inside the tackles. Was patient, read blocks well and finished his runs. Doesn't have top speed/explosion, wasn't an elusive nor was he a tackle breaker. Lacks the speed to consistently get the corner. Did catch the ball well on screens arrow and swing routes.Just a good college back but didn't do anything to set him apart from the rest of the pack. Back-up special team type player. Draft consideration; round 6 - 7.

Chris Steuber, Draft Analyst: Boyd is a big runner who runs tough between the tackles and shows good quickness on the edge. He performed well during East-West Shrine practices, but wasn't consistent catching the ball. He's not a shifty runner, but breaks tackles and is tough to bring down. Boyd has some character concerns and will have to address those issues during interviews at the Combine.

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