With the 34th pick of the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected their second defensive lineman in the same draft, former Mississippi State University Bulldog Josh Boyd. Boyd was often overshadowed by a former Bulldog, yet Packer defensive line coach Mike Trgovac liked what he saw in him on tape.
“I noticed him when we scouted (2012 1st round draft pick) Fletcher Cox”, Trgovac said in an April press conference, “he has some explosion to him, and we feel he has some versatility”.
In four years at Mississippi State, Boyd recorded 125 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and eight sacks. Before his senior season, Boyd was a preseason All-SEC second team selection and was placed on the Outland Trophy preseason watch list for college football’s best interior lineman.
After recording a career-best four sacks as a junior, Boyd decided not to enter the NFL Draft early with Cox and instead try and improve his draft stock as a senior. Boyd unfortunately lacks the girth (6’3, 310) needed to become a solid two-gap defender, lacks good pursuit speed, and is an “older” rookie (Boyd will turn 24 in August).
At the NFL Combine in March, Boyd ran a 5.14 40-yard dash, recorded a 26.5 inch vertical, and put up a stellar 32 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Boyd, who is a stocky defensive lineman, should be a solid defensive “three” technique (defensive lineman who lines up on the outside shade of the offensive guard).
“The best thing he did (in college) was play the three technique”, Trgovac said, “He has nimble feet, and a pretty decent motor. For a big man, he has good movement”.
Trgovac said with his versatility, explosion, and good movement, the Packers will possibly play him all across the defensive line.
Heading into training camp in July, Packer notable “locks” on the defensive line includes Mike Neal, Datone Jones, Ryan Pickett, and B.J. Raji. Last season, the Packers kept seven defensive linemen on the roster, meaning Boyd will most likely be competing in camp for one of three available roster spots.
Boyd, who will most likely play defensive end for the Packers, will be competing with second-year players Mike Daniels, Jordan Miller, and Jerel Worthy, undrafted rookies Gilbert Pena and Jarvis Reed, and veterans CJ Wilson and Johnny Jolly for a roster spot.
If he makes the cut, Boyd will wear the number 93 jersey for the Packers. Tomorrow, we’ll showcase former Hawkeye cornerback Micah Hyde, who Packer defensive backs coach Joe Whitt finds comparable to second-year player Casey Hayward.
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