Fourth QB Possibilities: Tajh Boyd

Tajh Boyd's record-setting production at Clemson can't be ignored but he reportedly was called "not draftable" by a Packers scout at the Senior Bowl.

One of the most accomplished college quarterbacks in the country, Tajh Boyd is looking to make a name for himself in the NFL.

In his senior season at Clemson, everything was going smoothly for Boyd and the Tigers early in the season. In Clemson's first game of the year, it faced off against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Traditionally, the SEC is seen as a superior conference, and the Bulldogs were a powerful team led by Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley. Georgia was coming off a season in which it narrowly lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs were widely seen as potential favorites to win the SEC and, perhaps, play for the BCS National Championship.

Clemson was overshadowed despite possessing an equally talented roster. In a game that was focused mostly on the stars for the Bulldogs, Boyd was the best player on the field. He finished the game with more than 300 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. Clemson won the game 38-35, which sparked an early-season six-game winning streak.

The winning streak led into another showdown, this time for ACC supremacy. Boyd was pitted against Florida State's Jameis Winston. Boyd and the Tigers, however, were overwhelmed by the Florida State defense in a 51-14 home loss. Boyd did not play well, either. He threw for less than 200 yards and tossed two big interceptions that led to an early hole from which his team simply could not recover.

Following the debacle against the Seminoles, Boyd would finish the season on a high note. The Tigers would lose just one more game and earn a BCS bowl berth in the Orange Bowl against Ohio State.

Boyd threw five touchdown passes in his final game in a Clemson uniform, including the game-winner with just more than 6 minutes on the clock. It was the final cap to a great career. Boyd finished his college career with ACC-record totals of 107 touchdown passes and 133 total touchdowns, and second-place totals of 11,904 passing yards and 13,069 total yards.

The lead-up to the NFL Draft, however, has been less than kind. According to Tony Pauline, a scout from the Packers has referred to Boyd as "not draftable."

At 6-foot-1, Boyd's height is not ideal, and he played in an offense in which most of his throws were relatively simple. He was helped tremendously by the presence of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant, both of which will be picked early in the draft. In 2012, Boyd had Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal, as well. He struggles to drive the ball down the field, and has a long release that can hinder the timing on his throws.

Some of Boyd's strengths include his build. Despite being a top draft prospect, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is facing some questions about his durability because of his smaller frame. Boyd's build is more compact — he is 1 1/2 inches shorter but 8 pounds heavier — which could make him more able to withstand bigger hits.

Despite a long release, Boyd does have good accuracy and good touch on his passes. He was productive in college and won a lot of games, helping make Clemson a national championship contender. He has good poise in the pocket and, while he is a talented runner, he does not look to run first. He has the ability to slide in the pocket and create throwing lanes.

Boyd is projected as a sixth- or seventh-round pick by NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas. He is a project quarterback at this point, but there are some skills there that could be developed if the Packers are looking to bring in a fourth quarterback. If that fourth guy is Boyd, they will be getting a proven leader with enough skills to make him an intriguing type of project.


Jacob Westendorf is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and an intern for Packer Report. E-mail him at westjd03@uwgb.edu. Find Jacob on Twitter at twitter.com/JacobWestendorf.


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