The Buffalo Bills have several needs on both sides of the ball that they’ll look to address during free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft. However, General Manager Doug Whaley has stated on numerous occasions that despite Tyrod Taylor’s success in his first year as a starter, the team will add another quarterback in the draft. Today, we’ll look at TCU’s Trevone Boykin.
Boykin, a Mesquite Texas native was a 3 star recruit coming out of high school, where he lettered in track and football. TCU got his signature for college, beating out UTEP for the honors. Redshirting in 2011, Boykin started 9 games for 2,054 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 ints in 2012 as a replacement for the suspended Casey Pachall. In 2013, Boykin split time with Pachall (6 starts) and also started a game at wide receiver – during which time he also set a TCU record for having 100 yards rushing and receiving and over 200 yards passing in a season.
In 2014, Boykin was the man, starting the entire season (12-1 record) while amassing 3,901 yards, 33 TDs and 10 ints. That was good enough to get him to 4th in Heisman voting and winner of the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
In 2015, Boykin started 11/12 games, missing one game to injury. He amassed 3,575 yards for 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
In his career, Trevone Boykin also had 2,049 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns on 61.2% passing. While some will ask why his accuracy numbers weren’t higher being in TCU’s offense, I would point to his 2015 9.0 yards per attempt (9th in college) and 63% of his yards being through the air. As you’ll read below, some of his accuracy issues will be fixed marrying his feet to his upper body, but I do not think Boykin is the lost cause some scouts claim him to be at quarterback.
Listed at 6’2 but clocking in at 6′ at the combine, Boykin is a smaller, tightly wound guy at QB. In the current NFL climate that is borderline for a lot of teams primarily because of injury concerns long term and in game issues seeing over the line.
Boykin can sling the ball over the lot and is quite adept at picking up chunks of yardage if the defense gives him an opening to run.
Trevone Boykin Arm Talent
Trevone Boykin has a quick, efficient release. While his footwork would need work, the top half of his body is good to go going into the NFL.
Also, Boykin is used to changing his throwing platform to complete the pass. Typically an over the top thrower, he’ll switch to sidearm at times to get a quick hitch/screen off:
As you see a little from the clip, Boykin’s arm strength is strong – I’d give it a 4/5. And that is without him stepping into a throw. Take a look at this clip of Boykin on the run zipping a ball to the sideline:
With that arm strength comes throws that at times are ill-advised. Take a look at this jet screen that almost goes awry:
Finally, because his legs and upper body are not always married, you’ll get an overthrow like the clip below:
Because of the TCU up-tempo system, most of the time Boykin makes half-field reads, making a quick read and throwing to the open man.
When pressured, Boykin is calm and looks for the way out. He’s dangerous, however when TCU built a run into the scheme and let him embarrass defenders:
This designed run is another Taylor impersonation:
Finally, when Boykin needs to make a play, he’ll find his guy. In Buffalo, that would be Sammy Watkins. At TCU, that was Josh Doctson –
His throw here was Taylor like to me: rock back and drop a dime to your guy for a TD.
Overview/Potential Fit With Buffalo Bills
Ultimately, the decision that has to be made on Boykin is the same made about Tyrod when he came out – is there a gm and coaching staff that are married to his development solely at QB? Or will they see him primarily as a “slash” type – someone that can give them a little of a lot, but not truly play the position for them.
Whereas Taylor had Ozzie Newsome as a champion during his draft process, Boykin may not have such a supporter. The arrest, coupled with some questions about his accuracy outside of the TCU system may push him into another position. While he’d prefer to play quarterback, Boykin has been open to such a change.
Personally, I see Boykin’s game as a similar one to Tyrod Taylor and would be a great “mirror” backup. The biggest question as to how well Boykin would translate to the Bills is getting him in the room with Greg Roman and seeing if the reads he’d make match where Roman would want him to go.