This is a series that will run through the “black hole” known as February. These posts will be listed from least likely to most likely to be drafted by the Cowboys. The second is Brandon Boykin, a cornerback who in most areas plays like his size (5-9)-below average.
Scouting Report: “Loose man coverage- as long as he isn’t asked to jam a receiver off the line, he can cover anyone. Production- rarely allows catches
+ Ball skills- above average hands” (NFL Mocks)
“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.” (FFToolbox)
“Athleticism is above-average, has pretty good speed, fluid hips and quick feet, change-of-direction skills are also above-average… Will be a very good slot defender, lines up against slot receivers regularly, off-man coverage skills are very good…Has excellent leaping ability, is able to cover larger receivers in most situations despite his size… Is a good wrap-up tackler, does not miss a lot of opportunities in open space… Has good return skills, ran four kickoffs back for touchdowns in 2009 and 2010 combined and added a punt return TD in 2011…Gives too much cushion on out routes, protects himself against double moves, but allows receivers too much space to catch the ball underneath… Often looks into the backfield for too long, which makes him susceptible to picks on crossing patterns over the middle… Does not get off blocks well, not the most physical corner… Leaves feet too often when tackling, needs to do a better job of driving through tackles with his legs… (Sideline Scouting)
“Elite Athleticism. Blazing speed, great acceleration and agility. Very fluid hips. Allows him to stay right in the receivers back pocket. Can transition, and change directions with ease. Because of limited size. Can get bullied by bigger receivers. Struggles to get off blocks. May not be a fit in all defensive schemes. (NFL Draft Geek)
Brandon Boykin is a great player and by all accounts has great character, but his lack of size would mean more of the same in Dallas-short cornerbacks getting run over by below average running backs (Brandon Jacobs anyone?)
His return ability, similar to Cliff Harris, would be his best trait (at least in Dallas) but with Dez Bryant already manning the return duties, Boykin’s second best attribute (after loose coverage man-to-man) would be rendered useless. It’s Akwasi Owusu-Ansah all over again. His best attribute could be widely used in Rob Ryan’s scheme with constantly changing coverages and styles of man coverage, but with press out of the question his usefulness would be greatly diminished.
Really, he would have no usefulness at all, and that’s not what the Cowboys have in mind for their 3rd round pick this year. Short, low value, highly specific skill set-sounds like present day Terrence Newman.
Possibility of selection in rounds 3-5 by the Cowboys: 10%
Possibility of falling past a 3rd round slot: 20%
Possibility of rising: 35%