He is an intriguing prospect for teams who want to develop his technique and are willing to overlook his stature. He has value as a nickel corner immediately and should be selected near the middle of the third round.
He is a burner as a runner and can recover to run with almost any receiver in the NFL. He can trail receivers well throughout their routes and effortlessly flip his hips to stay with them in transition. He is a cover corner who can also play well up-close despite his smaller stature.
He is sometimes slow to react to balls even if he is running side by side with a receiver. He will likely struggle against bigger, more physical wideouts in the league."
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."
Is small-framed and durability could be an issue but has a shredded physique with barely any body fat.
Mature, motivated athlete praised for his personal and football character and professional work habits.
Experience playing outside and inside and return ability adds to his value."
Games Viewed: Boise State (2011), Arkansas ('10), Auburn ('10), Florida ('10), UCF ('10)
Bold Prediction: Boykin won't be a first-round pick, but he'll break camp next season at least as a team's nickel cornerback.
* Although Georgia lists him at 5-foot-10, that may be a little generous for Boykin. If he comes in at 5-foot-9 or even shorter, it will hurt his stock, much like Brandon Harris in this year's draft.
* Despite his size and stature, Boykin is good at the line of scrimmage because he plays with excellent fundamentals. He gets low which opens him up better to jam.
* Possesses only average hands, despite having 6 career interceptions entering this season. His hand struggles are in terms of making a play on the ball to break up a pass.
* Because of his lacking size, Boykin struggles some in jump ball situations. He gives effort, but can be outreached.
* Appears to have good but not great playing speed to cover over the top.
* A very good tackler both in the run and pass game. Isn't simply a drag-down tackler.
* Many of the top prospects every year also do well on special teams. Boykin is no exception as he excels returning kicks. He's shown his elusiveness returning three kicks for 100 yards, an SEC record."
Reads play well and will make plays in the backfield; not all that strong and is not that physical on the jam, but is a good leaper with a reported 42-inch vertical; also has good recovery speed with a 40-clock in the mid-4.4 range and has fluid hips and can plant and change direction with a burst;
However, tends to give up too much cushion, needs to improve overall footwork and has only average hands and ball skills; probably best as a slot defender at the next level where his overall lack of functional strength won’t be exposed; excellent KO returner with 4 returns for TDs in his career."
A fiesty player who loves to compete, is tough to separate from, explosive closing ability and natural ball skills to break up passes, recorded nine interceptions over the previous three seasons combined... 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... Durability does not seem to be an issue, has not missed substantial time due to injury...
Also played a little offense for Georgia as a senior, scored one rushing and two receiving touchdowns; had one of the best bowl performances in recent memory, scoring three different ways (safety, punt return TD, receiving TD) in a triple overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl...
Was recognized as the nation's most versatile player, winning the 2011 Paul Hornung Award from the Louisville Sports Commission.
Negatives -- About an inch or two shorter than ideal height... 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... Is not the most versatile corner due to below-average strength, may be relegated to covering slot receivers in the NFL."
+ Loose man coverage- as long as he isn’t asked to jam a receiver off the line, he can cover anyone
+ Athleticism- sub 4.4 40, loose hips, phenomenal athlete that won dunk contest in high school (and he’s 5’10)
+ Production- rarely allows catches
+ Ball skills- above average hands
+ Character- plays with on field intensity, clearly has worked hard to gain a knowledge of the game
+ Pretty good kick returner
- Size- 5’10 180lbs, and I love corners with size
- Strength- can’t jam the release of a wide receiver, not a great tackler
- Poor run stopper- don’t get me wrong, he’s a willing run stopper, and he has solid instincts, but his lack of size and strength makes him awful at tackling a running back, and he can’t shed blocks either
- Has to play in the right scheme- if he isn’t playing loose man, he will fail
Georgia senior cornerback Brandon Boykin is one of the most productive corners in the FBS. He always dominates in coverage, but his lack of strength could really hurt him in the NFL.
Boykin has good speed, but poor size. He is incredibly fast, but at 5’10 180lbs, he is about as small as any corner I have ever scouted. He has good recovery speed and he accelerates quickly, but his lack of size really hurts him in coverage.
Boykin is a phenomenal athlete. He’s a fluid athlete with loose hips, quick feet, and unbelievable leaping ability. He has the speed and athleticism to cover any player, and he uses those gifts to also be one of the best kick and punt returners in the FBS. Boykin’s athleticism is the main reason he’s a draft prospect.
Boykin seems to have good character. He has no off the field issues to my knowledge, and he plays the game with excellent on field intensity. He also has worked hard to learn about the game. His intangibles don’t seem to be anything to worry about.
Boykin has mediocre stats, but they are misleading. He has awful tackle numbers, but that’s largely because he never allows catches and doesn’t have many receivers to tackle. However, he has not been a productive run stopper. He has been a starter since sophomore year, and he has always been getting a fair amount of interceptions since he has been a starter, but his lack of tackles are a reason for concern.
Boykin has solid ball skills. He has good hands, and he accelerates quickly enough to get a great break on the ball. He is also always in position to make a play on the ball. However, his short arms make it difficult for his to deflect some passes. His ball skills aren’t a reason for concern.
Boykin’s biggest issue is his lack of strength. Even for a guy as small as he is, his strength is awful. He can’t be trusted in press man coverage, and he has always struggled to jam the routes of wide receivers and get into position in zone coverage. He plays hard, but his lack of strength hurts so many aspects of his game.
Boykin is an awful run stopper. He plays hard, and he has good instincts, but he lacks strength, and his short arms makes it almost impossible for him to even wrap his arms around bigger running backs. He is a poor tackler, and he is very poor at shedding off blocks.
Ultimately, in the right scheme, Boykin is a pro bowler. He is truly unbeatable in loose man coverage, but unless he goes to a team that will use his limited skill set, his talent will be a waste (well, he’ll still return kicks). If a coach is willing to use him exclusively in loose man coverage, he’ll be a great player. I’m not huge on him, because I still love corners with size, but he can still be a good player (who is destined to play for the Falcons).
NFL Comparison: Pacman Jones without character issues.
Grade: 81 (deserves to be a late second round pick)
Projection: 78 (will be an early third round pick)"