BRANDON BOYKIN, CB, GEORGIA
TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 5-10, 183, 4.45
A compact, muscular looking corner who is willing to throw his body around as a tackler and mix it up at times physically. However, he doesn’t breakdown well, struggles to consistently take proper angles in pursuit and can easily be bullied by receivers on contact. Fails to consistently set the edge and whiffs on his fair share of attempts as well.
Exhibits some savvy to his game. Plays a lot in the slot, loves to read the quarterbacks eyes and use his athleticism to make plays on the football. Is raw with his footwork off the line, consistently jumps backwards and/or shuffle steps into his drop. Is a better athlete than corner at this stage. Has the ability to sit into his stance and keep his base down, however, lets his pad level rise the further down the field he goes, getting sloppy and losing his technique. Is naturally fluid and can turn and run, getting up to speed quickly. However, has improved his pad level and balance when asked to collect himself out of his breaks and close, creating more burst from his lower half when asked to click and close. Is most comfortable in zone coverage, allowing him to feel the routes develop around him, exhibits good range and has the initial burst and closing speed to put himself around the football. Improved his overall game as a press corner as well this year. Looks more balanced shooting his hands into contact and delivers a strong jolt at the point. At times will get overextended, but loves to compete off the line and is tough to separate from. Will get a little too physical past the five yards, but has the strength to hold his own off the line. Demonstrates a second gear when asked to track the football and can make up for a false step when asked to play in space.
Adds some kick return ability as well. Is explosive, sudden and gets up to speed quickly. Has a good feel picking his way through traffic and exhibits big play capability with the ball in his hands.
Impression: Plays much bigger/strong than his frame would indicate. Has the ability to press on the edge, but might be better suited to play as a slot guy in the NFL. Either way can play a role on a defense in either a man or zone scheme.
Strengths: Explosive athletic player who has returned kicks, carried and caught the ball during his time at Georgia – Could be a plus return specialist, finds holes in return coverage and weaves through them seamlessly – Extremely physical player down at the Senior Bowl who showed he can play press coverage as well as anyone in this draft class – Plays well in zone coverage as well reading the quarterback and reacting quickly with agility and athleticism – Played out of the slot a lot and rarely thrown on – Has legit 4.4 speed – Can turn and run smoothly and has second gear against faster WRs – Showed some ability blitzing out of the slot, gets off the line quickly and generates nice pressure.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t always take the best angle, especially in the running game – small in stature at 5’9 1/4” 183 lbs, but has long arms and wingspan – Doesn’t always attack in the running game – Can improve his tackling – Can come off the snap from the slot with lazy technique, stays too high – Footwork can be raw at times – Not a real ballhawk, but showed off good hands on offense – Suffered leg injury at Senior Bowl.
Boykin has just about done it all for a streaking Georgia team this season, and he is a big reason why the Dawgs have won 10 in a row and will play for the SEC Championship. The senior has started all 12 games at cornerback, making 44 tackles (26 solo) — including eight for loss — to go along with three interceptions and seven pass breakups. He has been the team’s primary kick returner (31 returns for 731 yards) and he has returned nine punts for 88 yards. Boykin has also lined up on offense, rushing five times for 95 yards and a touchdown and and catching four passes for 58 yards and another score.
The Fayetteville, GA native is one of the more experienced players in college football. He played in 13 games as a freshman in 2008 and he has started 12 games each of the past three seasons. He has decent size at 5’10” and 183 pounds and with a good vertical leap he can contend with almost all receivers. Boykin generally runs in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.35 from that distance. He would do well to bulk up just a bit heading into the next level so that he can be physical with wideouts at the line of scrimmage. Boykin can be a major contributor on both defense and special teams at the next level, so look for him to go off the board during the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
[pro-player width='530' height='253' type='video']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpip7M-Me6Q[/pro-player]
Brandon Boykin is a smallish cornerback prospect. Very experienced. Good tackler for his size. Physical. Can play in press, man or zone. Very speedy and can stay with most wide receivers. Also a dynamite returner. The size is a bit worrisome, and he could stand to add a few pounds, but you have to love his physicality and explosiveness. Willing to get involved. 2nd round pick. The Giants generally like taller corners. Boykin isn’t tall. But, as a slot corner who can stay with the quicker receivers, he’s not a bad option. Plus, he’s one of the best returners in the draft, and we know how much of a need that is. The Giants need corner depth, with Aaron Ross potentially leaving and Terrell Thomas a unknown coming off his second knee surgery. Boykin would provide depth behind Webster and Prince. His return ability is a bonus. His size is a bit of a concern, and something a bit anti-Giant, but I think Boykin would be an exception. He’s very talented, has speed to burn and can contribute right away on special teams.