Rookie Refresher: Josh Boyce
|07.23.13 at 3:56 pm ET|
In the days leading up to training camp, WEEI.com will reopen the book on the team’s 2013 draft class. The Pats, who traded their first-round pick to the Vikings, brought in seven players via the draft.
Wide receiver, TCU
Drafted: Fourth round (102nd overall)
Height/weight: 5-foot-11 1/8, 1206 pounds
Why they drafted him: Boyce crushed it at the combine, and he did so with a broken bone in his right foot. He was the only receiver to rank in the top four in both the 40-yard dash (4.38 seconds) and bench press reps (22). He also finished third in the broad jump (10-foot-11).
As the Patriots have learned over the years with speedsters like Bethel Johnson and Chad Jackson, combine performance can often mean very, very little when it comes to determining whether somebody is an NFL quality player. Boyce led TCU in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in each of last two college seasons, and he did so with shaky quarterback play after the departure of Andy Dalton. His best season came as a sophomore in 2011, when he hauled in 61 passes for 998 yards and nine touchdowns.
What to expect from him as a rookie: Boyce’s right foot injury limited him this offseason. He was not one of the players the Pats placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, so he should be able to hit the ground running as camp opens.
That’s good for Boyce because given the Pats’ situation at receiver, there is potential playing time to be earned. Boyce will compete with fellow rookie Aaron Dobson for the outside position left vacant by the release of Brandon Lloyd. Dobson should have the upper hand given that he’s bigger and is a much better pass-catcher than Boyce, but the Pats are clearly intent on developing receivers who can make long-term contributions. That means Boyce shouldn’t be counted out to make an impact going forward.
Boyce was not a return man at TCU, so don’t expect him to be in the NFL.