If there was one part of the Philadelphia Eagles that made fans cringe, it was watching the secondary. Philadelphia was horrific against the pass this year, ranking last in the NFL surrendering 290 yards per game through the air. As many glaring holes as there may be in this secondary, one of these holes is filled by a promising, bright and up-and-coming star. Eagles defensive back Brandon Boykin had a fantastic season in 2013, and it’s not certain everybody knows about it.
A former fourth round pick from Georgia in 2012, Boykin quietly had a breakout campaign in his second professional season. He finished second in the league with six interceptions, despite seeing limited playing time as just a nickel corner back. Locking down receivers wasn’t the only thing Boykin did well in 2013. With limited snaps, he still managed to record 47 tackles, two forced fumbles and a safety. As a former Paul Hornung Award winner in college, there was always potential for Boykin to be successful for the Eagles. However, not many fans could have predicted he would have this kind of impact this quickly.
By looking at this season and ahead, it looks like Boykin’s production isn’t going to end anytime soon.
At first look at his numbers, it may just seem like Boykin is just a productive role player, as he receives limited time as a nickelback. However, if someone further analyzed his stats, he shows that not only is he making his time worth it on the field, but he is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL.
Even as a nickelback, Boykin has shown that he can be a playmaker for the Eagles. Despite only playing in 51.7 percent of the Eagle’s snaps, he recorded an interception once every 105.8 snaps. This was the best in the NFL among players with five or more interceptions.
Boykin’s ability to come up in the clutch was crucial for the Eagles all season along. Out of his six picks, five of them were with a one-possession lead, and two of them secured wins for Philadelphia. One of his biggest interceptions was when he made the game-ending interception against the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East.
Quarterbacks didn’t look forward to facing Boykin all year long either. Opposing quarterbacks had the fifth-worst passer rating at 64.6 when trying to throw over Boykin. He has also shown his ability as a tackler. His 95.7 tackling percentage ranked third in the NFL among cornerbacks.
All of this makes Boykin one of the most dynamic and all-around cornerbacks in the league. Showing this much ability made this worst-ranked secondary at least entertaining to watch. In the secondary rebuilding process, he will definitely be a part of it. To put it simple, this guy can play, and he’s only going into his third season. The sky is the limit for Boykin.