Senior Bowl: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson


Jan 20, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Tajh Boyd of Clemson (10) passes during practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ eternal quest for a franchise QB continues into yet another offseason. This year’s college talent pool contains multiple intriguing players at the quarterback position, several of whom may go at the very top of the draft. And then there are the other guys who are not Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles or Carr.

Where will the other guys fall? A bunch of them are at the Senior Bowl trying to impress scouts. Early returns suggest “impress” is not a word we should use in connection with most of these players.

Clemson’s Tajh Boyd is one of the guys who has been struggling. Here are some expert assessments of Boyd:

Dane BruglerInconsistency from all three quarterbacks on the roster. Miami QB Stephen Morris, Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas and Clemson QB Tajh Boyd were all inconsistent on day one, which was almost expected after the up-and-down senior seasons of all three. Boyd in particular struggled with accuracy and his ball placement is a strong concern. Thomas threw a few pretty passes that hit receivers between the numbers, but other fastballs hit the ground or sailed over his intended target. The good news for this group? The only place to go from here is up.

Brugler (Day 2): Boyd continues to be unimpressive, largely because of his accuracy issues. He slings the ball from wild arm angles and sometimes the ball would arrive on time and hit the receiver in the hands, but there were too many other passes that were off the mark and really caused the intended target to do most of the work.

Unnamed Packers scout: …based on what I’m seeing Tahj Boyd is not draftable.

Aaron WilsonHe struggled with his accuracy and timing Monday and Tuesday, forcing his receivers to adjust their patterns to secure his errant throws. 

Peter SchragerI think Tajh Boyd played well today, too. Made one throw–linebacker crashing in on him–adjusted, threw it sidearm. Hit wideout perfectly.

Eric GalkoStephen Morris and Tajh Boyd both struggled on day one, and didn’t help their case to be Top 100 picks. Morris has the live arm, but his placement is consistently erratic, while Boyd’s lack of a big arm affected more than one throw. Expect both to have better performances and (hopefully) more flashes as the week goes on.

Galko (Day 2)Tajh Boyd (Clemson) has a tight, compact release, but it was noticeably lower than usual Tuesday. It was down toward his ear, possibly to cut through the wind. In general, that slot is not given his height (6-foot-1). He certainly didn’t display the over-the-top release he showed on film last year. He also had trouble with placement, some of which can be blamed on the wind. Overall, he made the best decisions among the North QBs.

Jimmy KempskiThe North QBs are all having an awful week. They would be Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Miami’s Stephen Morris, and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas. They’ve been so bad, and so inaccurate, that they’ve made it very hard to watch practices. When they can’t throw passes on target, you can’t see wide receivers and corners finish plays. The receivers are trying to make an impression and they have to be frustrated, because the QBs have just been brutal.

Eric Edholm[Boyd] has been the best of the North team QB lot, but neither Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas nor Miami’s (Fla.) Stephen Morris have stood out. All three have strong arms, but the accuracy on deep balls for all three has been bad.

Boyd at least has shown some touch on intermediate balls, and his movement skills — a decided strength — have not been put on display in the team drills to this point. Boyd mentioned that the Oakland Raiders have shown the most interest in him so far, but it would be more than a reach if they looked at him with either one of their two top-40 picks based on what we’ve seen here so far.

At least superficially, Boyd would seem not the type of QB you want in a Norv Turner offense, which is all about verticality. It makes sense that the Raiders would be after him, given their apparent affection for “dual-threat” quarterbacks.

Yes, Scott Turner, the Vikings QB coach was talking to Boyd at the Senior Bowl, but that’s what you do at the Senior Bowl. You talk to everyone.

If the Vikes do go bargain shopping for a QB in the late rounds – and Boyd seems destined for the late rounds at this point unless some team like the Raiders falls in love with him the way the Bills fell for E.J. Manuel last year –  my guess is they’ll target a big-armed developmental QB. Boyd seems like an odd fit.

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