When the Green Bay Packers lost Randall Cobb for the entire 2013 regular season, the receiving corps looked depleted. And with only Jordy Nelson and James Jones remaining the options for Aaron Rodgers looked slim. However, no one would have expected a second year man from Virginia Tech to rise to the occasion and shine. This is exactly what Jarrett Boykin has done.
Boykin filled in for Cobb in Week 6 and got the start in Week 7. Since his start he has accumulated 410 yards receiving (an average of 82 YPG) and has scored a touchdown in the process. He has been a very reliable target and has really overcome his drops from earlier in the season.
There is nothing flashy about the way Boykin plays. He isn’t going to get off the line of scrimmage with ease like Calvin Johnson. He won’t show off blazing speed down the field like DeSean Jackson. He also won’t demand a double team every possession like Brandon Marshall. However, he is productive and is a great weapon for the Packers.
Boykin does possess good hands and has decent speed. One thing that makes him and many of the other receivers great is how he plays the ball while it’s in the air. He has a keen sense of where his defender is and knows how to go up and get the ball. He has also shown that he can be a big play receiver. In five of his six starts this season, Boykin has had catches of 43,39,27,36 and 52 yards respectively. He has proven to every Packers fan that he can be a valuable target even when Cobb returns.
I expect Boykin to continue to play well in place of Cobb, and it is clear he is gaining more confidence as the season goes on. Look for more big plays from the second year receiver as he tries to ignite an offense that is struggling without Rodgers under center.