Over the past few months, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive backfield,has been bruised and battered by the media and fans alike. It is no secret that the birds’ have struggled in coverage over the last few years and be it not for a safety tandem in Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney Mcleod, it could have been even worse last year.
Needless to say, the Eagles defense is in need of an upgrade if Coach Jim Schwartz is to be successful. Luckily, this giant need happens to be the biggest depth in this years draft. When it is all said and done, the Eagles need to walk away with a few picks for the Defensive backfield.
One player has gone completely under the radar and could be a complete steal for the birds this draft season. Jerod Boykins, a Corner/Safety from the University of Central Florida.
This 6’3, 215 lbs, Stallion, doesn’t just look the part, he has the skill set to be a true playmaker. He is a sideline to sideline type of safety, and has the speed (4.48) to take away the top WR of any offense.
NFL Analyst Mike Mayock had this to say on Boykins: “Kid’s got it, he needs some things cleaned up, they all do, but he can be a good one. As far as draft placement, I don’t know, no one does, but he has the skill set, and the gut to go in and make a play. He could be a steal, with the right spot or right roster, could be a steal.”
We sat down, with Jerod, to really get a sense of who he was off the field.
“I am the guy who will bust my butt to get the job done. I am a hard worker, both of us are (Twin Brother Jeremy). We have never had anything handed to us, so we understand the hard work is always needed. I love being the guy that other teammates can come to, that they can trust to try and make a play on the field, or be there if they need to talk.
My brother and I have always tried to make each other better, iron sharpens iron, and that is our approach to everything. My approach will always be what will make me better? better off the field, to be a better person, student, a better everything. Then on the field, I want to be the best player ever, the best player I can be.”
Blessed with the skill set, to be a true cover corner and the strength to come in and be a hammer of a safety. Boykins brings real value as a versatile prospect. We asked him where he felt his best fit was in the NFL.
“This might not be the normal answer from a player, but I believe we all need to be great special teams players before anything else. I love coming down and making a tackle, a big play that could flip field position.
The spot I fit?…I will play anywhere they want me too. They want me at Corner, safety, Nickel, Strong, free, dime….I will play all of those spots and obviously the special teams. I will play Linebacker if they tell me too. In this league I know you have to be able to do as much as possible, so I will continue to work on being versatile. Both me and Jeremy, have really worked on that, being able to play multiple spots.”
Continuing on, we asked him about his relationship with his Brother and who he thought was the better prospect?
“First of all, my Brother’s got those light eyes so he thinks he is the better looking one (he says while laughing). The truth is I am, I am the better looking guy! (Laugh louder). On the field, we both bring our strengths, we are really close on and off the field, and we try to make each other better.
As far as who I think is the better player?, he will say himself of course, he will say he is faster, and a better all around player. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was the better player, I am though. Don’t get me wrong he is a hell of a player, I am just that much better.(Laughs even louder)
I have always been close with my brother, I can still remember my Father taking us to like, Thursday night games, watching the Jacksonville Jaguars go to battle. Those nights like that out the love of football in us both and it is a fire that has stayed with us. We look forward to taking this into the NFL, where we can show everyone what we got.”
The Eagles, need for a few players to help man the back end, is an obvious one. Boykins, could be a huge step towards getting that figured out, with his versatile, skill set, Jerod, could be a real steal for the Birds’ this coming Draft.
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports