2014 NFL Draft: Tajh Boyd preseason scouting report

Posted by Brad On May – 31 – 2013

"Tajh Boyd"

Joshua S. Kelly – USA TODAY Sports

Tajh Boyd – Clemson

Height: 6010

Weight: 225

Age when drafted: 23

Hometown: Hampton, VA

Position: QB

Collegiate Number: 10

Combine notables: N/A

Games Viewed: 2012 – Duke, NC State, Virginia Tech, Florida State, LSU 2011 – South Carolina, West Virginia


Tajh Boyd attended Phoebus High School in Hampton, Virginia. Boyd was a consensus top-100 player in high school that chose Clemson over Ohio State and Oregon.

Boyd redshirted in 2009 as a freshman and was relegated to the backup role due to the presence of Kyle Parker. Boyd took quite a few snaps (139) in 2010 despite backing up Parker.

Boyd would take over the full-time starter duties in 2011 when Parker was taken 26th overall in the MLB Draft. Boyd proved to be anything but a de-facto starter. Boyd finished the season with 3,828 yards and 33 passing touchdowns and took Clemson to the Orange Bowl.  Despite terrific numbers and a historic season for Clemson, Boyd struggled down the stretch as he gained weight and looked out of shape in Clemson’s up-tempo offense.

Boyd heard the criticism from his struggles down the stretch and set out to prove critics wrong during his junior season. Boyd’s improvement in 2012 was more than noticeable and had some believing he would be the top quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. Boyd, instead, opted to stay at Clemson for his senior season with the hopes of improving on some of the downsides to his game.


Boyd doesn’t possess ideal size for the quarterback position but that won’t stop anyone from taking him very high. He checks in at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, according to the Clemson team site. Boyd has battled with controlling his weight but played the entire 2012 season at or near his playing weight. Boyd’s stocky build is beneficial as he’s tough to bring down in the open field with his blend of athleticism and strength.

Boyd is an above-average athlete with the ability to plays with his feet. Boyd does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield while extending plays with his legs. In today’s NFL, Boyd brings the ability to run zone-read which will increase his value at the next level.


The biggest positive in Boyd’s game is that he’s made steady improvement every year at Clemson and has grown into a more complete quarterback able to beat teams in multiple ways.

Boyd is a true dual-threat quarterback that excels when he’s able to extend plays with his feet. In the open field, Boyd is a nightmare to bring down because of his ability to make defenders miss and has the strength to break tackles. In the pocket, Boyd does a nice job of climbing the pocket and keeping his eyes down the field. With the zone-read becoming a legitimate ‘option’ in the NFL, Boyd gives teams a quarterback capable of running it effectively. Undoubtedly Boyd will draw comparisons to Robert Griffin III but he’s not that type of athlete. Boyd is a physical runner with good – not great – long speed. That said, his ability to maneuver his 225 pound frame is impressive and will be a major asset at the next level.

Boyd’s accuracy in 2011 was spotty, at best. 2012 brought much improved mechanics and noticeably improved accuracy. Boyd has the arm strength to make all the throws and plenty of velocity to fit it in tight windows. Boyd isn’t complete as a passer but his strides from 2011 to 2012 speaks to his ability to make effective changes.


There are quite a few inconsistencies in Boyd’s game. Boyd’s numbers are inflated by the number of screens and bubbles Clemson utilizes. The pre-draft process will be very important for Boyd for two reasons. First, everyone will want to compare him to a fairly solid group of senior QB’s in Mobile (assuming he gets the invite, safe assumption). Secondly, the Clemson offense is chock full of screens and bubbles. Boyd will be looking to prove that he can operate in a highly sophisticated downfield passing attack.

Boyd’s biggest issue comes with locking onto his first target. He was improved in this area in 2012 but still needs some improvement working through his progressions. Boyd’s tendency to hold onto the football far too long is a major problem in his evaluation. He takes far too many sacks and has to show a better understanding of a mental clock.

We pointed out Boyd’s improved accuracy but it’s still a work in progress. At this point, I’m most concerned with his ball placement as he often times forces his talented receivers out of stride on passes that has to be “gimmes” at the next level.


It may be a byproduct of the Clemson offense but I wonder about Boyd’s ability to process what the defense is doing. We pointed out the amount of sacks he takes and locking onto the first target, which makes me wonder about his grasp of defensive schemes. That said, Boyd was one of the most improved players in the country last season and NFL teams will scheme around his skill set.


Concerns about weight gain as a sophomore seem to be in the rearview mirror. Boyd appears to be a solid leader, who has won a ton of games at the collegiate level and will have 40 starts under his belt, barring health. Boyd tore his ACL as a senior, but played through the injury – a plus and minus.


Tajh Boyd is going to be one of the hottest names heading into the 2014 NFL Draft – for good and bad.

There’s a lot to love about Boyd – athleticism, build, toughness, arm strength. But there are also a slew of questions that need to be answered – accuracy and ability to read defenses. NFL scouts will have the tough task of determining whether Boyd can overcome these flaws in their offensive system.

Boyd will throw up gaudy numbers this season and is a legitimate Heisman contender but he’s far from a complete NFL prospect. The jump he made from 2011 to 2012 will need to be made this season if he wants to hear his name called early in May’s draft.

VIDEO LINKS:  Duke, NC State, Florida State, LSU