Boyd Called Potential 'Three-Down Player'

Josh Boyd impressed position coach Mike Trgovac and he impressed at the Senior Bowl, as well. Boyd, a rugged run defender with some pass-rushing potential, according to his college coach, could be in contention for a role in the nickel defense. Learn more with three exclusive interviews.

Defensive lineman Josh Boyd didn't have a great senior season but he impressed three seasoned football minds: Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson, Packers position coach Mike Trgovac and Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage.

Boyd caught Trgovac's attention a year ago, when he was scouting Boyd's Mississippi State teammate, Fletcher Cox, who went 12th overall to Philadelphia in 2012.

"You just see a guy pop up there, when you're a defensive line coach and you see a big man in there, you always look to see where he is and how old he is," Trgovac said last weekend, after the Packers selected Boyd in the fifth round.

Boyd was a junior then but a senior this year. Without Cox, Boyd's production fell rather dramatically but Trgovac saw plenty to like.

"He's obviously a big man," Trgovac said. "He has some explosion to him. We think he has a little versatility to him, as well. I'm going to see if I can get some nose reps out of him. We'll have to determine that when they get here. Sometimes in this defense, it's a lot of projections. We don't get to see guys in this defense with the college schemes. So, I noticed him last year when I was watching Cox. I saw a big kid with some explosion to him with some nice pop. For a big man, he has some nice movement."

With Cox as a sidekick, Boyd had 51 tackles, including 4.5 sacks and eight tackles for losses, as a junior. Without Cox, Boyd tallied 33 tackles, including 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for losses, as a senior.

Josh Boyd hits Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier. Spruce Derden - USA Today Sports

Boyd, who is one class away from earning his degree in business, played in the East-West Shrine Game, then was a late addition as an injury replacement at the Senior Bowl.

"There were pretty high hopes for Josh (entering this season)," Savage said. "He probably didn't have as good a year as a senior as he did as a junior, maybe because he was more well-known or maybe because Cox wasn't with him. But at the Senior Bowl, he showed up. He's got good initial quickness. He's got rush potential. I would assume that he would be the athletic-type nose and he could probably give you a few reps at defensive end. To me, I'm thinking that they see him as a rotational guy in sub. He showed up in the game. He worked over a couple guys pretty good in the Senior Bowl game. He'll have a chance. It'll be interesting to see how far he can go but he's got a chance to help the team."

Boyd was selected with the 167th selection of the draft, a fifth-round free-agent compensatory pick. He called that Saturday the "worst day of his life" until finally getting picked by Green Bay.

"It still kind of feels unreal," Boyd told Packer Report a few days later. "I'm still trying to process it. It's been something I've been working toward for a long time and it's finally come. It still hasn't sunk in. I guess it won't until I actually get there and put the uniform on."

At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, Boyd ran the 40 in 5.14 and put up 32 reps on the 225-pound bench press at the Scouting Combine. As Savage said, Boyd could be a viable option on so-called "50-50 downs," when the offense is as apt to run as it is pass against the Packers' nickel defense. While Boyd didn't have a lot of sacks, four of his pressures in 2012 resulted in interceptions.

"I think he's capable of playing on all three downs," said Chris Wilson, who was Mississippi State's defensive line coach before going to Georgia during the offseason.

"Josh is a guy who was built to play defensive line. There's some guys that might have a different skill-set, but as far as being physical and going and playing football in the trenches, he's one of those guys. I thought he had a solid season. Without having a counterpart inside, he saw more double teams, but I thought he was really efficient in the run game. He's very good at the point of attack."

The third and fourth words of Boyd's NFL biography say "nonstop motor." It's an assessment shared by Wilson, Trgovac and Boyd.

"I always pride myself on going hard," Boyd said. "Even if you mess up, mess up at 100 miles an hour. When I'm on the field, I give it my all every play."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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