Beneath all of the accusations and controversy surrounding the trading of Brandon Boykin to the Steelers is the fact that Boykin is a very good football player. He was one of the best nickel corners in the league. Teams play three wide receivers all the time. The nickel back is really a starter on the defensive side of the ball.
He was one of the best athletes on the Eagles roster from a speed and quickness standpoint. I have watched Boykin out-jump much bigger guys for the football. I believe his vertical jump is near 40 inches, which is near the best in the league. I don’t think you can simply look at somebody’s height and be able to estimate how big they play the game.
Not only does he have outstanding coverage skills, Boykin is a playmaker on Special Teams in the all important Hawk role. He runs down on punts and makes a play on the punt returner. He’s one of the best in the league at doing that assignment. How much yardage does that compute to in a game?
NFL Network Analyst Brian Baldinger was just on 97.5 this morning with Anthony Gargano and he was in agreement with me about the trading of Boykin.
“I was just in Buffalo’s camp with Rex Ryan and New England’s camp with Bill Belichick and in New York with Todd Bowles and they all say you can’t have enough good corners and pass rushers”, Baldinger said.
“I know JaCorey Shepard and Randall Evans”, Baldinger said. “I know him I did his games at Kansas State and believe me, they’re not Brandon Boykin. Maybe they just want them because they’re six feet tall, that may be the case. Just a heck of a football player they just let walk out the door.”
“I’ve seen Brandon Boykin intercept passes against the Baltimore Ravens, pick off Joe Flacco and I’ve seen him go up 38 inches in the air and he ain’t playing at 5’10”. When that ball is in the air, he’s not playing at that size”.
I don’t understand why you trade a guy, who has proven he can make big plays in this league. Remember Boykin made the interception against Dallas to clinch a playoff appearance for the Eagles. He had six interceptions in one season. Are you kidding me? These rookie corners who the Birds just drafted haven’t proven they can do anything in the league.
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