Tajh Boyd is a mobile passer that possesses the natural instincts and leadership abilities to be a difference maker at the quarterback position. The guy is a gamer point blank with a knack for making plays that showed up the day he first took a snap from center as a prep athlete. He went 43-2 as a starting quarterback in high school and although he played his senior year with a torn ACL, he played through the injury and still led his school to the state championship. Played in the U.S. Army All-American game, where he earned Co-MVP honors after completing 7-9 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
First saw game action at Clemson as a redshirt freshman in 2010 primarily in backup duty but was able to display some brief flashes as a starter at the end of the season, highlighted by a 112 yard/2 TD performance against South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. He has been the leader of the Tigers’ high octane offense for the last two seasons and was responsible for 46 TDs (36 Pass/10 Rush) last season as a dual threat passer.
ACCURACY/PLACEMENT: Places the ball well and has the anticipation, as well as the timing, to throw his receivers open on deep to intermediate routes. He is a surgeon on intermediate to short range throws and if he is given the time in the pocket, Boyd can dissect a defense. He does a great job of reading from deep to short range, always looking to make a play down the field first before checking back or tucking the ball and running.
ARM STRENGTH/VELOCITY: Has the arm talent and strength to drill the deep nines and the bang eights. Throws the long ball well but doesn’t have a howitzer. He has the zip and spin to rifle the football into tight windows as well as being able to put the ball on a line on outside throws and deep looks. The force he can put on the ball is more adequate than elite but more importantly, his accuracy doesn’t suffer as a result of torquing up a pass.
DELIVERY/RELEASE: He has more of a three quarter delivery and at only 6’0” ½, throwing lanes and passing windows at the next level will be harder to come by. Rotation is consistent, however his release point is still a variable and Boyd needs to work at making his wind up more compact to make his delivery more of an instant snap. He is very adept at changing his throwing platform and altering his arch situationally to evade defenders. Boyd is effective throwing on the run and continually waits until the last minute to break the line of scrimmage.
FOOTWORK/MOBILITY: Boyd does a great job of creating a solid base and stepping into his throws. He has the subtle footwork that allows him to create space within the pocket but he also possesses the straight line speed to be a threat outside of the pocket. He is an athlete with the suddenness and coordination to beat defenders to the edge but also has the running strength to shed would be tacklers.
INTANGIBLES: Boyd has great leadership qualities and is notorious for being a mature team first type of player. He has no off-field issues as we are aware and has a very solid family background. Dedicated to the program, as he passed up instant fortune and fame to play one more year at Clemson. Driven personality that will do the extra work to become a better version of himself.
2014 OUTLOOK: Had he been given a higher grade by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee, he may have declared for the draft last season but the committee placed a mid-round grade on the Tigers signal caller. While the committee is notoriously conservative with their grades, Boyd is probably best served to have another year to hone his skills and do more exclusive work with a pro passing coach in preparation for the upcoming draft off-season. He still has super-explosive Sammy Watkins at receiver and a defense that should be much improved but he will have a lot to prove without the help of sure handed DeAndre Hopkins (Houston/1st round). This is a big year for Boyd who has a very good chance to factor into the first round of the draft with another year like he had in 2012.
Joe Everett is an NFL Draft + College Football Analyst for NFLDraftBible.com and is also a featured writer + IDP statistician for InsiderFootball.com. Member of the Pro Football Writers of America + the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on twitter: @RookieDraft