Mike Mayock is a well regarded NFL Draft analyst over at NFL.com, and he has provided color commentary for the Vikings in previous Pre-season games. He knows the Vikings team well. He was asked to provide some potential "team fits" over at NFL.com, and here is what he said about the Vikings when asked about wide receivers:
"I think Pharoh Cooper is a really interesting guy with the ball in his hands from South Carolina, a slot/return guy. Tyler Boyd from Pittsburgh (is a) second- or third-round guy, a tough guy. There are just some names that could be interesting to the Vikings in the second and third (rounds)."
Based on the Pre-combine Consensus Rankings, Tyler Boyd is a consensus top 5 wide receiver and a 2nd round pick based on average Big Board rankings. Pharoh Cooper just missed out on being included in the rankings, but was easily a top 10 wide receier and possible 3rd rounder in the consensus rankings. But Mayock isn't the only one linking Tyler Boyd to the Vikings. Boyd shows up in the latest version of the Mock Draft Database as well. So who is Tyler Boyd? Here is what CBS analyst Dane Brugler has to say about Tyler Boyd:
STRENGTHS: Gliding athlete with an instant accelerator to reach his top speed with his initial strides. Sharp cuts and burst off his plant foot, mixing his gears well in his patterns.
Quick release off the line of scrimmage with natural route running prowess, setting up defenders and selling routes with beautiful body fakes. Easy body control to twist mid-air and adjust to obscure ball placement. Excellent hand-eye coordination with strong hands to pluck, extending his catching radius beyond what most his size can - attacks the ball, doesn't wait for it.
Lack of body strength shows in traffic, but surprisingly efficient in contested situations. Tough over the middle and always looking to pick up yards after the catch with his innate field awareness. Highly competitive playing temperament and lunch pail worker.
Lined up everywhere in the Pitt offense, including outside and in the slot. Also lined up as a running back (8.3-yard career rushing average, 63/520/1) and quarterback, displaying a strong arm to be a passing weapon (3-for-4 passing in his career for 96 yards). Return man on special teams, averaging 24.4 yards on kickoff returns (46/1,124/0) and 8.8 yards on punt returns (27/238/1). Leaves Pitt with the school career records for receiving yards (3,361) and receptions (254).
WEAKNESSES: Underwhelming size with a thin torso and lean body features. Limited bulk and lacks the power to fight through tackle attempts or pick up yards after initial contact. Lacks an ideal build to take consistent punishment in the NFL.
Majority of his routes at Pitt are within seven yards of the line of scrimmage (screens, slants, etc.) and unproven as a consistent downfield threat. Will hear ghosts around him, leading to focus drops. Holds the ball too loose as a ballcarrier, leading to ball security concerns. Struggles to gain correct positioning as a blocker with below average functional strength - too easily pushed around and needs technique work to mask his lack of power.
Off-field decision-making needs investigated - arrested and charged with a DUI (June 2015), leading to a suspension over the summer and 2015 season opener.
COMPARES TO: Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles - Agholor has a little more twitch and Boyd is more detailed, but there are similarities on film between the two wide receivers.
IN OUR VIEW: A graceful athlete, he trusts his hands and uses quick eyes to snatch and immediately analyze his surroundings, but his body size does lead to durability concerns, especially over the middle. Despite average measureables, Boyd is an exquisite catcher of the football and able to stand out by paying attention to the details, putting his value in the top 50 range. His ideal NFL fit is in the slot in a Jarvis Landry-type role.
Sounds like there are some "frame/strength" concerns for Boyd as well as an off-the-field incident. But the strengths paint a picture of a dynamic play-making athletic that is also technically refined. Put him in a good strength/conditioning program to bulk him up, and make sure a guy like Zimmer is on him, and he could find a role in our offense. Either way, the idea that the Vikings might spend a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a wide receiver is certainly going to gain more traction after Mayock's most recent remarks.