4. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
Tyler Boyd, a three-year starter at Pittsburgh, finished his career with the Panthers as the all-time leader in both receptions (254) and receiving yards (3,361) despite having relatively inconsistent play at the quarterback position (three different starters in three years), via PittsburghPanthers.com. Though there are some concerns surrounding his lack of quickness and acceleration, Boyd has managed to have consistent production over three years because he has evolved into a competitive possession receiver.
With above-average hands and play strength, Boyd will surprise cornerbacks with his ability to come down with the ball in contested situations, as he seems to thrive with defenders on his back. Boyd is extremely competitive and more than willing to put his body on the line in crowded areas over the middle on crossing routes. Also, Boyd has great awareness for the sideline and will often make outstanding catches while keeping both feet in the field of play.
At 6’1”, 197 pounds, Boyd has somewhat of a thin frame for how aggressive he is against press coverage and as a run blocker. Though he is a strong, technically sound route-runner, his lack of burst will allow quicker defensive backs to make a break on the ball and force a contested catch.
Unlike a majority of the slot receivers currently starting in the NFL, Boyd doesn’t have the necessary quickness to immediately create separation near the line of scrimmage, but he is a sure-handed, competitive receiver that could thrive as a chain-mover from the slot position early and possibly develop into a reliable target on the outside if proves that he can consistently get open at the next level. If Oakland were to target him, look for him to come off the board somewhere on Day 2.