New England Patriots Analysis: How Josh Boyce fits
The New England Patriots shored up the wide receiver position in the 2013 NFL Draft by drafting Aaron Dobson in the second round and then Josh Boyce yesterday in the fourth round of the draft. Both players have terrific upside and all the tools too succeed, and this is a case of the Patriots wisely ignoring a lack of production in college and instead looking at the individual talents of both players. Dobson and Boyce have the potential to be two excellent picks for the Patriots in this draft, and I am glad the Pats took Boyce and passed up on Jesse Williams. I’m not sure if I’m in the minority on that one, but like the Patriots, I don’t particularly care either.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Anyway, Boyce didn’t post the best numbers last season at TCU, but he still managed to haul in 66 passes. TCU had major issues at the quarterback position, and that was supposed to be a strength for them last season with Casey Pachall, who absolutely embarrassed himself last season on multiple occasions; it must have been frustrating for Boyce.
It has been well-publicized now that Boyce caught passes from Robert Griffin III and Andy Dalton at points during his football career, so Boyce certainly knows how to catch passes from talented QBs. Tom Brady is simply on another level, and it’s going to be interesting to see if they can build up a rapport early on and if Boyce can become a factor early on. I had Boyce at a third-round grade, but Greg Bedard and others have stated that he slipped due to a broken toe.
That toe injury impacted Boyce at the 2013 NFL Combine, but he still ran a 4.38 forty. This is a testament to Boyce’s speed, and he could be the vertical threat that the Patriots need. The Pats were looking for a guy with size and a guy who can stretch the field, and Boyce is a burner. The sub-4.4 forty speed and the 206 pounds combine to make a dangerous wide receiver, and Boyce is smart enough to make an impact right off the bat.
He has been lauded for his character, so there’s that. Boyce stated that he can play in the slot if needed, and that’s definitely true when you look at some of his games at TCU. The Patriots are interested in wide receivers who are flexible in that way, but I am sure that the overwhelming majority of Boyce’s snaps will come outside the hash marks. At TCU, Josh Boyce averaged nearly 16 yards per reception, and Brady should have plenty of fun with Boyce in the fold as a deep threat. I’m really excited about this pick, and I think he and Dobson have all the tools to be impact wide receivers at the pro level.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.