Cardinals Meet with Powerful RB at Combine

The Cardinals have made no secret of their intent to upgrade the running back position through the draft. With that in mind, James Jones snags an exclusive interview with a top running back prospect who met with the Cardinals at the NFL Combine. Find out what this prospect and his agent have to say about a possible future in Arizona.

South Carolina running back Cory Boyd (6'1", 217 pounds) is being watched by more then a few teams as the draft draws closer. And why not? He is an athletic back who can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

In 2007, Boyd posted 180 carries for 903 yards (5.0 ypc) and nine rushing TDs. As a result of his immense productivity, he had meetings with several teams at the NFL Combine last month.

The Cardinals were one of the teams to request a meeting, although they may have competition from their neighbors to the west.

"I talked with the Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers at the Combine," Boyd said. "San Diego said they were interested in taking a running back since Michael Turner is gone now. They said it's too early to tell if I would be their man, but they were interested."

According to Boyd's agent, David Canter, Boyd has garnered interest from more NFL clubs than just the Cardinals and Chargers.

"I got a call from the Cleveland Browns today and they want to set up a private workout for Cory," said Canter on March 20. "The Denver Broncos love him, but they are not sure what they're going to do this early. He had a private meeting with the Chicago Bears at the East-West Shrine Game and they also conducted a videotaped interview with him at the Combine."

RB Cory Boyd
Jim Lytle/AP

Boyd considers himself an NFL-ready prospect after spending the last three seasons under former Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier. Under Spurrier's guidance, Boyd was a candidate for All-League honors entering the 2007 season and started for the Gamecocks after ending 2006 as the team's leading rusher.

Boyd is physical for his size and is not afraid to take a pounding between the tackles. That -- coupled with his speed and impressive 34.5-inch vertical leap -- could quickly propel him into a prominent role on the next level.

With J.J. Arrington and Marcel Shipp failing to give the Cardinals the kind of backup punch coach Ken Whisenhunt expects, it would make sense for Arizona to take a long look at Boyd. He could bring competition and light a fire under the others. He could also benefit behind Russ Grimm's improving O-line.

Boyd's Pro Day is scheduled for March 26th and he hopes to better some of his numbers from the Combine.

"I haven't been doing anything different then I normally do in order to get ready for my Pro Day," Boyd said. "I am not going to do much that day because I feel like teams already know what I can do. The one area I want to improve on is my vertical. I didn't do as good as I wanted to at the Combine, so I have been working on that so I can get a higher jump.

"I also let my weight get down to about 213 and I am working on getting it back up to 220. That's where I'm the most comfortable."

Watch for Boyd to make these improvements and see his draft stock rise. As long as he doesn't work his way into the first day of the draft, the Cardinals will remain interested in his services -- assuming GM Rod Graves doesn't take a back in the first two rounds of the draft.

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