In a coaching era that had been mired in controversy, Andy Reid may have actually done something right when he drafted cornerback Brandon Boykin in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. During his tenure as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, he wasn’t known for his draft picks, but this one may be an exception. Coming out of college, Boykin was an accomplished player who, as a senior, received the MVP award in the Outback Bowl and is the only player in Georgia Bulldog history to return three (3) kickoffs for touchdowns in a single season. All these accolades led him to be a projected late first/early second round pick. Unfortunately, Brandon fractured his leg in the senior bowl, making him unavailable to showcase his skills for the combine. This led to his slip down NFL teams’ draft boards, leaving him as a potential steal for the Eagles in the fourth round.
After critiquing his college career at Georgia, the knock on Boykin was his size (5’10) and weight (183lbs), two things that would prevent him from playing as an outside cornerback in the NFL. This is what his scouting report looked like:
- Tackles poorly and rarely fights off blocks
- Most likely never be more than an average nickel corner
- Plays best in one on one coverage
- May get bullied from time to time off the line because of lock of arm strength
- Stays in back pedal far too long on underneath routes
- Plays fast and can cover deep ball well
Obviously, these are only preliminary views without the prospects of getting better. In this case, exceeding expectations is exactly what Boykin has been doing. He has probably been the Eagles best cornerback this year, showing fantastic cover skills and unique playmaking ability. The matchups are never easy in the NFC, but Brandon has been able to hold his own against the likes of Dez Bryant, Pierre Garcon, etc. He currently leads the team with four (4) interceptions and has shown the ability to be a top cover corner in this league.
In the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles hired Billy Davis to be their defensive coordinator and put a new 3-4 Hybrid scheme in place. The team then decided to sign Cary Williams from the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens with the expectation of him being the focal point of the secondary. As it turns out, Carey has been adequate, but Brandon has shown he is very capable of producing at that level or even higher, on the way to making the defense successful. There have been many great CB’s in Eagles history, Troy Vincent and Eric Allen, just to name a few. Consequently, Brandon Boykin has every opportunity to keep improving and maturing, working his way to becoming another polished member of a great Philadelphia cornerback tradition.
BY: Tony Cutillo…….@TCutillo23
- Chip Kelly To Brandon Boykin: ‘Thanks For Saving My Ass’ (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Boykin, defense bounce back in big way (schufootballreport.wordpress.com)