2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Brandon Boykins

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

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Today, we look at Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykins, who really should be picked based on name alone. Boykins?! Hilarity!

According to ESPN’s draft analysis, I hate ESPN, but they also have this to say about Boykins:

Overall Football Traits

Production 1 “2008: (13/0)  6-0-0 2009: (13/12)  54-6-3 2010: (13/12)  44-4-3 Career: (2009-’10) 72 KORs-1,814-25.2-4″
Height-Weight-Speed 4 Is faster than most cornerback prospects but also is shorter and smaller than the average.
Durability 2 “Lack of size is concerning when projecting his NFL potential, especially if he attempts to contribute as a return specialist. However, he has played in all 39 games, including 24 starts during his first three seasons at Georgia (2008-’10). “
Intangibles 1 Emotional leader on defense. Hard worker on and off the field. Known within the program as one of its best practice players. Solid student and takes care of his business. Continues to improve with more experience and is willing to pay the price.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Cornerback Specific Traits

Instincts/Recognition 2 Still has room to improve but made huge strides in 2009. Is learning when to gamble and when to play it safe. Does a nice job of reading QB’s eyes and getting an early jump on throws (see: INT vs. LSU in 2009). Is confident and shows ability to shake off mistakes. Also shows good instincts as a return specialist (see: TD return 5:14 1st QTR vs. KEN 2010).
Cover Skills 2 “Outstanding natural athleticism. Has quick feet, fluid hips and above average top-end speed. Shows very good body control and explodes out of his pedal. Is more physical in coverage than size indicates and exceptional leaping ability helps him match up well versus bigger WR’s  kept former Oklahoma State star Dez Bryant quiet in 2009 meeting by challenging the bigger receiver physically. Needs to improve his press technique and footwork but has the tools to cover at a high level both in man and zone. “
Ball Skills 2 “Instincts and anticipation continue to improve. He’s finding the ball sooner and putting himself in better position to succeed. Displays exceptional leaping ability. Can climb the ladder and contest the jump ball with the tallest receivers. Does a very good job of adjusting to the ball in the air. Has good hand-eye coordination and solid hands. Very reliable returning kicks, as well.”
Run Support 3 Willing in run support. Does not back down. Shows good toughness. He’s a scrapper. Likes to get involved even when he doesn’t need to. Biggest issue is his lack of size and strength. He works hard to keep outside leverage versus the run but bigger WR’s can steer him if they’re able to get into his body. Usually finds a way to get the ball carrier down in space but he leaves his feet too often. Needs to learn to break down and wrap up.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

I know what you’re thinking. “Georgia cornerback? Asher Allen? RUN AWAY!” Well, you’re probably right. The dude is small, measuring at 5’9″ (would get nom-nomed alive by Calvin Johnson) and lacks a bit of strength. But despite these “deficiencies” (I feel bad describing them like that … it’s not like he has a lazy eye, or cancer, as far as I know …), he’s a hell of a gamer. He’s tough, didn’t miss a game in three seasons as Georgia in the tough SEC, and is Antoine Winfield-esque scrappy. Sometimes, those little guys just know how to get after it! Trust me, I know! If the Vikings consider moving Winfield to safety or into some hybrid safety, middle linebacker, nickle back role while they figure out their safety and linebacker positions, having another tough gamer like Boykins at cornerback would be awesome. Depending on what else happens during the offseason for the team to address this position as well (keep Cook, sign a starter in free agency, etc.), it’d allow them to bring Boykins along slowly as a nickel or dime backer, which is right where he could make the most impact. AND, if he can show similar impact in the return game, we could use Percy Harvin elsewhere and then never, ever, have to say the name “Marcus Sherels” when talking about the Vikings again. That would be awesome. With Boykins ranked as the 57th best prospect currently, he is again right in between the Vikings 2nd and 3rd picks, but he could feasibly fall to the 3rd with concerns about his size.

And, come on, he can’t be any worse than Asher Allen, right? RIGHT?! I say no, unless your name is Chris Cook.

What say you?

PJD

About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.

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