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Rereading NFL Draft profiles: TE Nick Boyle

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We continue the series with the vaulting tight end out of Delaware

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

After starting this series by rereading OT Ronnie Stanley’s draft profile, it’s time for the second installment: TE Nick Boyle.

Nick Boyle, tight end, Delaware


Nick Boyle Draft Profile — NFL.com

Strengths

Big body with long arms and big hands. Has size and athleticism to be an every-down tight end. Flashes ability to run feet and sustain blocks in space and has quickness off snap to make back-side zone blocks. Smooth, natural hands-catcher. Plucks and stashes. Turns and searches for throw immediately out of break. Plus focus in a crowd. Will dive and extend to make the tough catch. After catch, drops shoulder and delivers a blow to defensive backs. Will hurdle low tackle attempts in open space. Good feel for open space and works back to scrambling quarterback. Showed ability to work the seam and make plays downfield in 2013. — Lance Zierlein

Analysis

No sentence encapsulates Boyle more than, “Will hurdle low tackle attempts in open space.” I can’t blame him, either, as he stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs above 250 pounds, which means not many are taking him down at chest level.

Now, as for the rest, I feel they scouted Boyle quite well and he still has the same strengths at the NFL level. Boyle is still one of the biggest in the NFL and his play keeps him on the field for all three downs. He is a road grader in the running game, which is the main reason for Baltimore signing the extra offensive lineman to a three-year/$18 million deal. It is a bit hefty for a team with two expected stars at the same position, but Boyle is utilized differently than either Mark Andrews or Hayden Hurst. That’s not to say he won’t catch a few passes either, which was also praised in the draft profile.


Weaknesses

Doesn’t play to his frame in run game. Allows defenders to swat away hands and disengage too quickly. Sloppy footwork as blocker. Positional blocker -- doesn’t consistently wall off against lesser competition. Tape shows questionable desire and competitiveness when asked to run block. Averaged 3.1 yards fewer per catch in 2014 than 2013. Looked quicker, more athletic and more energetic in 2013. Gets caught leaning into his break, giving route away. Dull out of breaks. — Lance Zierlein

Analysis

Boyle is no longer questioned on his desire and competitiveness in the run game; And if he was, he’d be too busy to answer, as he’d be preoccupied with bulldozing defensive ends, linebackers and unfortunate cornerbacks who cross into his assignment path. Just watch the first play of this film review by Edgar Allen on Youtube of Boyle going full-force into the edge defender.

As for Boyle’s route-running, there’s fair criticism. It’s hard to disguise your breaks when hauling a frame like Boyle’s but thankfully his play isn’t predicated on agility and breakouts.

BOTTOM LINE Big tight end with the size and physical traits of a blocking tight end but lacking the proper disposition to specialize in it. The 2013 tape shows a starting-caliber receiving threat. If he can get quicker and put the work in as a blocker, Boyle can be a starting NFL tight end. — NFL.com

Analysis

Big swing-and-a-miss for the finale. Boyle now specializes in blocking and he just earned a $7 million signing bonus for it. He isn’t a dominant receiving threat and I don’t expect much to change in his current prime years.