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Why the Ravens picked WR Miles Boykin

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If he can’t catch it, no one can

Miles Boykin tested in the 99th percentile of RAS scores at the combine (size, speed, strength and agility weighed evenly). Essentially, he is pound-for-pound one of the greatest athletes to ever grace the NFL combine.

His 4.42 doesn’t seem to be quite unlocked on the field, but he makes contested catches and breaks off routes cleanly at their peak. He has outstanding hands, great body control and is one hell of a blocker. He is nasty, laying out numerous linebackers and defensive backs as an in-line blocker.

He perfectly complements Hollywood to bring the yin and yang, but his 4.42 speed can still take the top off, making them contrasting, yet strangely interchangeable to a degree. This will prevent defenses from knowing what to expect on a play to play basis. The versatility will Boykin and Brown to play at X, Z, or H keeping defenses on their toes.
Boykin’s unanimous weakness at Notre Dame was defeating press coverage. He has all of the tools to, but seemed

\to lack the plan. His contested catch ability allows him to still be quite impressive. He might not release of the line well, but his great footwork to cut off his routes, particularly out routes, gets fantastic separation to create throwing lanes. His massive frame then allows him to wall off defenders and his sticky hands secure the catch. Boykin has some of the best hands in his class, only dropping three passes in 2018.

Film study—

Boykin is somewhat of an enigma as a prospect. He was only a one-year starter for the Fighting Irish. He also had less than stellar QB play, often being under-thrown on deep balls, but this allowed him to show his ability to adjust to the ball and make plays. He flashes amazing strength as a blocker, but chooses to be more of a finesse player at the line of scrimmage and in his routes. If he uses his strength and length to win hand fights and defeat jams, then he could be an all-world receiver. He checks every box except beating press coverage so far. He’s a developing receiver and Hollywood Brown can certainly show him the ropes at getting off the line of scrimmage. Boykin’s ridiculous agility times suggests the capability to be untouchable at the top of his routes.

The silver lining is that if Boykin develops against the press slowly, he is 6-foot-4 and has a 43.5-inch vertical. That paired with his soft hands makes him always open to an extent. He is very similar to Alshon Jeffery of the Eagles. He isn’t the best YAC receiver, as he turns into a physical runner rather than using his agility to make people miss. He does feature a nice stiff arm with length similar to a defensive end.

Rookie Prediction:

Miles Boykin will flash early through training camp, as the Ravens elite press secondary give him good work him over all summer long. If he didn’t struggle with this, he would’ve been a first-round talent. This will be a necessary beating, though, as few teams employ the strategy or ability to press like Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and company. His blocking ability will make him a valuable asset and Greg Roman will lull teams to sleep while staying focused on Lamar Jackson and Hollywood Brown, setting Boykin up to run double moves after bullying corners and safeties in the run game. Boykin is also an extremely good guy, who will be committed to the Baltimore community exemplifying the high morality that the Ravens seek to put forth as a top-tier franchise in the NFL.

Rookie stats— 21 catches, 341 yards, two touchdowns. Boykin will also Moss the Browns rookie DB Greedy Williams, just like he did to Greedy’s teammate, Carolina Panther Donte Jackson to win the 2018 Citrus Bowl.