Earlier, I mentioned that Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd had undergone the measurements process on Thursday at the NFL Combine. Boyd also talked about a wide range of topics at the event.
One thing that I found of interest was a concerted play to use Boyd in a variety of ways this year. Obviously, the primary goal was to utilize Boyd in a way to make Pitt as successful as possible. But in reality, it seems like it was geared to help to showcase his talents for the NFL Draft, too. Boyd talked about his versatility and working with the Panthers to get that on display.
"Coming out of high school I was well prepared taking a couple of handoffs from out of the backfield," said Boyd. "I felt comfortable. We talked about it prior to the season. We were trying to create more ways for me to touch the ball rather than lining up at receiver. I am an athlete. I believe my abilities are suited best to do it all, from a return game, receiver game, pitches or anything."
Boyd had previously been used in special teams and, on occasion, in the running game. But there's no question that this year he had a bigger involvement as a running back. That type of versatility will be helpful for some of the more innovative offensive coordinators in the NFL and there's no doubt he could be used on special teams as well.
There was, of course, some talk about his off-field DUI incident in the offseason and Boyd says he learned from it:
"I definitely grew a lot from it," said Boyd. "My decision making skills improved. As I have aged, I made sure I surrounded myself with the right people. At the time I feel like my circle was too big and I eliminated a lot of things. Now I realize what I have to do to pretty much handle myself and not follow after other people."
I wouldn't expect him to say any different, so I'm not sure how much credit he'll get for statements like that when talking to teams, etc. A far better indicator is his track record since the incident, which seems clean. At the end of the day, I just don't think that incident will have much of an effect on his standing.
Some? Perhaps. I can see a team, for example, passing on him if they are looking at another guy with similar skill sets and everything else being equal. But overall, this isn't the type of thing that should lead to a massive free fall. I also think it helps him that it happened last year and wasn't an issue that came up just before the NFL Draft. Boyd has had a full season to prove that he's a viable team leader and all indications suggest that he did that.
There's a little more in that previous link where Boyd talked about his ability to play right away as well as some of the skills as a receiver that he brings to the table.