As the 2013 NFL Supplemental Draft approaches, late dreamers declaring for NFL are hoping to get a chance to prove themselves.
One of those prospects hails straight out of Compton. James Boyd is an interesting talented defensive end, or is he? This unique individual has another position he dabbles in. Boyd attended Los Angeles Jordan High School from 2005-2008. During his tenure there, he managed to pick up a nickname for himself.
Peers and coaches called him “Bipolar Express”, because he played both DE and QB. He not only played both positions, but he excelled at them. In 2007, Boyd received City Section Defensive Lineman of the Year honors, racking up 72 solo tackles and 11 sacks. As a QB his senior year, Boyd threw for 4,266 yards, 44 touchdowns with only 17 interceptions, and was voted 2008 League MVP.
Unfortunately Pete Carroll, head coach for USC only wanted him for his talents as a DE. Carroll had Matt Barkley tunnel vision, and nothing would change that.
Boyd and Carroll seemed to butt heads a lot; this may have caused Boyd some time on the bench. Eventually, the injuries, off-field issues and his attitude resulted in him leaving USC for West L.A. College in 2011. Shortly after the move, he was promised a QB spot at UNLV, which lured him in; once there, he was encouraged that DE was the position he was made for.
Ball clubs need to be sure to evaluate this player as an athlete not just as a defensive end; his ability to play TE as well as QB in the past speaks to that. Boyd has a great first step and ideal size; he has a real sense for sealing the edge against the run. Although Boyd can get into the backfield easily on smaller opponents, he lacks technique on larger ones.
Once Boyd faces guys like Nate Solder, Bryant Mckinnie or Joe Staley, he will realize that he needs more than his one “Herman the Monster” bull rush in order to get into the backfield.
Anyone getting selected in the supplemental draft has obviously fought, clawed and worked their way into the lights. Boyd is hoping his body of work is enough for a team to drop a draft pick on him.