Eagles Wake-Up Call: Will Boykin Get a Shot?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Towards the end of last year, Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis was asked about the way he handled Brandon Boykin’s playing time and whether there were ways to get the play-making defensive back more snaps.

“I really think, and I believe this, that one of the reasons that he’s grown like he’s grown and made the plays that he’s making is because we’ve allowed him to specialize and really focus on the nickel position and how to play,” Davis said. “He’s a young player that’s still growing and I think that is one of the things that we’ve done that I’m most happy with. And I understand he’s got a lot of interceptions and second in the league, but I think that’s a product of specialization and really knowing exactly and playing a position with confidence and that’s how you win.”


Boykin had six interceptions last year, tied for second in the league. He had 23 interceptions/passes defensed combined; that ranked fifth.

The numbers would be impressive for any starting cornerback in the NFL. But Boykin's accomplishments were even more noteworthy considering he only played 51.6 percent of the team's defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. Davis' comments left the impression that perhaps in Boykin's third year he might get more of a shot to play on the outside. But Chip Kelly talked about Boykin last month and seemed to indicate that the third-year player would remain in his role as the team's nickel.

"I think our two outside corners are very good football players," Kelly said. "Again, it’s a matchup game. The bigger receivers are on the outside. The smaller receivers are on the inside. So you’ve got two longer guys in Fletch [Bradley Fletcher] and Cary [Williams] that really fit in terms of getting matched up. When most people, if they’re gonna be in '21' personnel, then they’re not small outside. They’re big outside. So when they’re big, we’re big. I think when you bring in the Wes Welkers and the great slot receivers in this league, you need to have someone that has the ability to cover them. And I think that’s what Brandon’s strength really is. That’s the way we’ve always looked at it."

It's true that a lot of teams are trying to find bigger corners. But looking at the 64 cornerbacks who played the most snaps league-wide last season, seven were 5-9 or under (using their heights coming out of college). That's roughly 10.9 percent. It's not a huge number, but there are still some smaller corners playing on the outside.

Boykin (who is 5-9) has made it clear that he believes he can play on the outside and be effective. Given what we've seen through his first two seasons, it's hard to argue against at least giving him a shot.

But again, Kelly has given no indication that that's part of the plan for this offseason.

"It’s like anything… I want guys that want to be out there every single snap," Kelly said. "I wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, this guy is content being out there for only X amount of snaps.' That’s one thing I love about Brandon. He wants to play every snap of defense. He wants to play every snap of special teams. He wants to return kickoffs. That’s just the type of player he is.

"But we always have to make decisions as coaches in terms of what are our players’ strengths and where they grade at. And I think looking at how we’re matched up right now, I think it’s a great matchup for us. And I think you ask anybody in the league, you better have three corners because more people are gonna be in '11' than they’re gonna be in '21.' And that’s where you can’t be caught short with that."

Boykin signed a four-year deal worth about $2.5 million coming out of college as a fourth-round pick. Howie Roseman has pointed out on multiple occasions that one reason the Eagles are carrying over cap space this offseason is so they can retain their core players - specifically guys who were drafted in 2012 and will be eligible to renegotiate after next season (Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Boykin).

If Boykin doesn't get a shot to play more snaps in the next two seasons, perhaps he'll be reluctant to re-up without first testing the waters. Of course, that's still a long way away. Boykin is signed through 2015. But it's something to keep in mind when analyzing the decisions the coaching staff makes at cornerback this offseason.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles have finalized dates and times for their preseason schedule.

T-Mac talks Allen Robinson, Dion Jordan and more in his weekly mailbag.

Our Draft Daily series focuses in on LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.

How early is too early for the Eagles to draft a QB if he's deemed the best player available? McManus examines.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Zach Berman of The Inquirer caught up with Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com about the Eagles' pick at 22:

"I think a lot of people have been hung up on the speed receivers, saying they’re going to find somebody to replace DeSean Jackson, so you talk about Brandin Cooks and maybe Odell Beckham…but I look at Kelvin Benjamin, who is a little bit of a polarizing player out of Florida State, that to me would be a name to keep an eye on," Jeremiah said Thursday. "Chip Kelly at Oregon, everybody focuses on the pace and the tempo. They kind of assume he likes little small, fast players. But on the outside, they always had some big, physical receivers. And I would think adding more size, if you had Kelvin Benjamin [and Riley Cooper, and Jeremy Maclin], now your offense is not only going to be able to move the ball in the 20s, but now you get down into the red zone, you got two guys you can throw the ball up to."

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com looks at the possibility of the Eagles handing Mychal Kendricks a new contract after next season:

Kendricks struggled as a rookie and in the early part of the 2013 season, but was much better as his second season wore on. He still has plenty of upside, and with DeMeco Ryans' tenure as an Eagle potentially coming to a close sometime in the next year, Kendricks' importance to the middle of the defense will be heightened.

COMING UP

We'll take a look at another WR prospect.

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  • NickS1

    “The bigger receivers are on the outside. The smaller receivers are on the inside.”

    Kelly’s own offense contradicts this philosophy. New Orleans offense contradicts this philosophy. I’m sure more offenses are contradicting this philosophy. Big receivers are getting moved around a lot. Marques Colston, especially as he’s gotten older, has been in the slot far more. Kelly’s receivers line up all over. TEs line up in the slot. This characterization of why our best corner (by a long shot) can’t see the field as a full-time starter bothers the hell out of me because Kelly himself contradicts it.

    • RIP illa

      I see it less of a contradiction and more of a look into the direction Kelly is trying to move the receiving corp. Too many indicators and hints, this offseason, that he wants to get bigger on the outside.

      Yes WRs move around all the time, and yes Boykin has been matched up on bigger WRs and TEs in the slot. However, they like him where he’s at, and playing the slot v outside are two entirely different animals. It’s not always just plug and play. In limited snaps on the outside last year, no one can say they came away impressed with Boykin. Plus, last year was just one year. Let’s see if he can repeat his greatness this year, and be consistently good.

      And even if Davis (cuz that’s really who it’s up to) came out today and said ‘Boykin will start, from now on going forward’. Now we have to draft his replacement with one of our 6 picks. “In the 1st round, at pick #22, the Philadelphia Eagles draft…Jason Verrett from TCU!” We have no one that can play the position effectively on the team. And it’s not as simple as going out and signing any ol’ guy off the street or drafting a kid in the later rounds. Remember Boykin was a 2nd rd talent that luckily slipped, due to mostly his injury and not being able to workout for teams…and a little bit had to do with his size also.

      • Will

        People cry they want Boykin on the outside yet if the Eagles do that who is there to play the nickel position…name one CB on this roster besides Boykin? Is Roc Carmichael or Curtis Marsh ready to step up? Can Nolan Carroll play the Nickel spot and be effective? You would have to bench either Williams or Fletcher. Can either of them play the nickel and be effective?

      • NickS1

        He wants bigger all around, not just the outside. I say it’s a contradiction because there seems to be more (don’t have #s to back it) bigger receivers all over, including the slot, and Kelly’s philosophy epitomizes it. I understand they like him where he’s at, doesn’t mean Boykin’s talents are being maximized. They’re obviously not, because he doesn’t see the field half of the time. I understand playing the slot and outside are different, but there’s a case to be made that outside is a little easier (less traffic, sideline is an advantage, throws travel longer), but it doesn’t mean he’s bad at the outside because he’s small. That’s where he mostly played in college, which made him a 2nd round talent. You don’t necessarily need to find his replacement either. On nickel and dime sets, you move him inside, at least once he “masters” the inside, which all signs indicate he’s pretty much done rather quickly. Hopefully it comes in time, because this crap is frustrating.

  • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

    “I think our two outside corners are very good football players,” Kelly said…….Me too Chipper, meeeeeee too.

    Boykins a match up guy. I don’t want him on Pierre or Hankerson, I want him on#11. Inside outside whatever.

    • NickS1

      Does Davis intend on implementing a system where he has a corner shadow? Don’t recall seeing that last year. Though, I would certainly hope it would happen for #11. Seems the perfect scenario.

      • Eagles1018

        If he’s a shadow guy on #11 and has success with it, then he can very easily demand a nice contract and to play outside. Just sayin

        • NickS1

          That’s assuming we run a shadow guy. Either way, success in that shouldn’t be what commands contract and outside starter status. His play already does. Hopefully it continues.

    • myeaglescantwin

      yyyyyyyyyyyep.

      he is the wild card in that coverage scheme. our playmaker needs to cover their playmaker.

      I’d move him to deep FS before outside corner though. 5’9 isn’t going to fare too well week in and week out against 6′+ WRs.
      I think if we drop him back to a position where his height wouldn’t be that much of an issue. And no one will complain that Allen isn’t getting time over Boykin. & we can let the three CB’s we are paying well to handle the press man coverage up front. Even bringing Jenkins down in the box and letting Boykin roam free.

      • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

        Personally I want to see the sconce move to safety. I think he is physically and instinctive enough to make it work. For whatever reason teams seem hesitant to make those types of switches tho. To a simpleton like me, I see a guy who can tackle and cover adequately and think it’s a no brainer.

        • myeaglescantwin

          the only thing i would caution you with in Sconces being moved is;
          How many times was he flagged for a blatant hold after getting beat?. it seemed like he consistently was beat on double move deep routes. I don’t know if i’d trust him handling our deep cover-1 responsibilities.

          • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

            At that point tho it’s pretty simple. Don’t let anyone get behind you, period. If he can’t handle that with a 12yd head start, then No, he ain’t worth a damn

    • Famous Duck

      John Boyett

  • Will

    People cry they want Boykin on the outside yet if the Eagles do that who
    is there to play the nickel position…name one CB on this roster
    besides Boykin? Is Roc Carmichael or Curtis Marsh ready to step up? Can
    Nolan Carroll play the Nickel spot and be effective? You would have to
    bench either Williams or Fletcher. Can either of them play the nickel
    and be effective? To Billy Davis credit even though Boykin only plays
    50% of the plays he is the best man for the job hands down…the Eagles
    best hope Brandon Boykin stays healthy because they have very few
    options to replace him at this point. If Boykin is injured, I would
    imagine the Eagles move Jenkins to his spot. Yet that leaves Wolff/Allen
    as your starting Safeties and how did that work for us last year? It
    may not be what the fans or Boykin want but it is a blessing to have
    such an excellent Nickel corner in Boykin to play the slot.

    • NickS1

      Well if it stays that way, enjoy the last two year of it. Kid doesn’t want to be stuck on the sideline 50-55% of snaps. Can’t see him not testing the market to go play where his talents are maximized.

      • Will

        Boykin may well move to the outside depending on who the Eagles draft or sign in FA over the next two years.

        • Token

          Not gonna happen.

          Hes sitting behind Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. Chip is knowingly starting both of those guys over him. Thats all you need to know about their intentions. If they are willing to start a bum like Cary over him hes just never getting a chance outside. Hell, Roc got outside before Boykin.

          A team that generally sucks at drafting defense finally may have found a legit corner and he will have to go flourish somewhere else.

          • myeaglescantwin

            they haven’t sucked that bad these past two years

            Cox, Boykin, Logan, Kendricks, Wolfe . . . . .. .

            ahhhh maybe you’re right.

          • Token

            If we are hanging our hat on that group, its not a good sign. Boykin is the best player of that bunch. I loved the Cox pick. Maybe he turns into the beast I thought he would be. But this scheme sucks for him.

      • babypa

        But there is no reason that he should play only 50% of the snap as the nickel corner with the way nfl offenses are nowadays. It’s weird, I don’t know how the eagles decided to bring or not their sub pacakges last season, but I know alot of NFL defenses are in nickel or dime easily 75% of the time… More often than not the nickel package IS the BASE defense nowadays. Davis has to found a way to put his best players on the field.

    • sdk152

      I meant to clarify this point. If Boykin started on the outside, the guess here is he would move inside in nickel. The third cornerback (Bradley Fletcher for example) would play fewer snaps, but they would come on the outside. That is how some other teams handle it.

      But as I wrote, it seems like the point is moot and Boykin will remain the team’s nickel. -SK

      • NickS1

        Better CW/BF playing less snaps than arguably our best defensive playmaker.

      • Will

        Maybe this year the Eagles DC Billy Davis does this feeling Boykin has mastered the slot…and could handle switching back and forth…

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        or maybe they grab a guy like Jimmy Ward, who can play down in man coverage in nickel sets? We saw some of this last year, with Chung covering while Boykin was playing OLB and blitzing early in the year.

        and does that also leave Nolan Carroll on the bench most of the game, save for some dime packages or as an injury replacement? I can’t imagine the guy signed here knowing he’s essentially the 4th CB. Maybe sconces or fletch are gone this year? I’m sure 1 is gone after ’14

        • NickS1

          Yeah, the Nolan Carroll signing certainly makes me wonder what the plan is for Cary and Brad. It also makes me think we’re not drafting a CB this year, but maybe a S still, possibly a hybrid like Ward/Joyner.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            regard to your last sentence, my fingers are crossed

        • RIP illa

          Wow Ward??? Can’t believe you didn’t use that chance to put us drafting Joyner :-) Have your feelings changed on him?

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            no, definitely love Joyner more than any other S prospect. But I do think Ward is the best S for man coverage, dude could essentially play slot/FS

          • myeaglescantwin

            That’s exactly what we need.
            The ability to keep the base package on the field and not lose the matchup battle.

            Ward / Buchanan are better options that Pryor. We need coverage in the back end.

          • RIP illa

            I’m more open to that idea and possibility than ever before. I just need the guy (Ward, Joyner, or whomever) to be a beast in the slot. We’ve been killed for years in the slot by teams, up until this year, specifically, when Davis stopped using Boykin as an OLB. 50% of snaps is still a lot and a great number, to me.

        • myeaglescantwin

          True. I don’t feel that these CB’s are the long term plan. But they aren’t bad stop gaps. Especially given the attitudes they each bring.

          Just, as it sits right now, we have no other options. I agree, at least one of those players will be on the block or released next offseason. Possibly two depending on the draft and contract situations.

          Would you say that’s our biggest need on D? 1st round pick necessary??

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            no, still pass rush, that makes everyone better. And I’d also take a S over CB personally, at least this year

    • Token

      Such a bad argument. A tired one. You find another slot guy. They have a entire offseason to do it. Or you move Boykin inside on certain downs. You guys act like slot corners are impossible to find. If you draft well you will have a decent slot corner by default. Your hope as a organization is that they evolve into quality starting outside corners within a couple years. Well, except this organization.

      • Will

        Agree if say Boykin beats out Cary Williams at CB let Boykin start outside and move him inside for Nickel. Last year he played a new position for him. Maybe this year the Coaches expand his role feeling he is comfortable in his assignment playing inside. Asking Boykin to switch back and forth last year may have been to much responsibility. It does make sense to keep him on the field as much as possible.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        If you draft well you will have a decent slot corner by default.

        what?

        • RIP illa

          He’s still under the mindset that any corner can play slot or outside. So basically he’s saying the 3rd best corner on the team should be the nickel corner by default. draft a corner better than the starting two, and whomever gets pushed down is our slot by default. Madden logic! Kinda silly, but whatevs! It’s the way the comments have been going lately!

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            this is how i read his, for the most part:

          • Token

            I dont know how I could possibly break it down any more.

            The problem is we just have two different mindsets. I dont believe a slot corner is a mythical creature that can never be found again. Its not that every corner can play effectively in there. They cant. But its not a impossible spot to fill.

            Im not gonna live in the fantasy land where Boykin resigns here just cuz the Eagles are such a swell franchise. Not happening. HIm and his agent know they can get good money for a shot to start somewhere. And thats what he wants.

            So its really very simple. Boykin starts this year or next year or hes gone and you have yet another defensive hole to fill. This is fully on the Eagles, Boykin has made his intentions quite clear.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            the difference between slot and outside CBs, with respect to the contracts they sign, is not as great as you imagine.
            Say this year, he jumps up to maybe 60% of the snaps (again, assuming he’s not playing outside). Once again, one of the better CBs in league by stats. Why not pay him good $? As a position group, not a lot going to CB.
            say they re-sign fletch after this year, maybe another 2-3 yr deal averaging $4M (tops). Sconces is pry gone in that case (or at the least renegotiated, no way he’s seeing big $). Carroll is cheap, if he stays. Any draft picks they get this year or next are cheap for the next 3 years.
            Looking further, no big $ tied up to safeties, either (Allen, Jenkins, Wolff are never going to earn it they’re not superstars, Wolff has real small chance but that’s years away too)

            There is no reason they can’t pay the kid. Judging from his twitter and IG, basically an anti-DJax, seems to be level-headed and love it here, if money is right it makes more sense. Not every team in the league throws $ at a guy to play outside because he did well in the slot here.

          • Token

            Kinda like I just replyed to the other guy, this is really a fantasy. Its based around the belief that Boykin thinks the Eagles are the greatest franchise ever so he just wants to stick around.

            I think the reality would be he has made it plenty clear he wants to start….outside…..and play all the time. Unless he collapses, he will have plenty of teams lined up to allow him to do just that. With more money. He wont stay here just because Chip is so awesome.

            And the idea that Howie would pay a 50-60% snap slot corner 4-5 million is kinda far fetched too.

            Like I said I think its simple when it comes down to it. He either starts or hes gone.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I think the only fantasy is pretending you know what his intentions and motivations are. It has 2 years to play out. Take some damn xanax

          • Token

            Why do I have to pretend to know? Hes made it clear multiple times what he wants to do. The only people who think otherwise are those living in a world where the Eagles are so awesome that no player would ever want to leave. Boykin has made his intentions as clear as possible without becoming a problem.

            “Boykin, naturally, wants to play all the time.

            “I want to play both. I want to be on the field as much as I can,” he said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, being a starting corner in the league is the highest you can possibly get. Nickel is not exactly a starter.”
            Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-eagles/Brandon-Boykin-wants-to-play-outside-CB-Bill-Davis-isnt-so-sure.html#809YZBfzhGZ7eMXq.99

            Boykin is on the record as saying he wants to play more and doesn’t want to be limited to only snaps when the opposing offense has three receivers on the field.
            “I always want to be on the field,” he said back in November. “That’s what I’m used to, my whole life.”

            “It’s not my decision. But I know how capable I am of playing outside, and they do too.””

            http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/brandon-boykin-stay-eagles-slot-specialist

          • NickS1

            I think Token’s right here. The signs and quotes are all there. Dude is a gamer. He wants on the field 100% of the time and knows he should be. Luckily he’s a team player and only going into his 3rd year. If he “only” does 80% of what he did this year, the Birds are going to have to figure out how to keep him and I’m not sure $ alone does it, making it difficult for everyone from Billy to Howie. Kid wants to play.

          • Token

            not quite.

            I still dont get the logic that you guys operate on. Most teams would be thrilled their 4th round corner looks like a stud in the making. Not force him off the team because hes not 6’4.

            Again, you dont draft a guy hoping he can play 50% of snaps for the next 9 years. A mean, thats just really weird thinking.

            Boykin has made it as clear as he can without being a Ahole that he wants to start in this league and so far hes shown he will have no problems getting that opportunity. Likely on another team. Its up to the Eagles to fill the slot role accordingly.

            But I see this playing out with Boykin leaving. Cary cut next year. Fletch expires next offseason. Within two years you may have 3 corner spots to fill.

          • RIP illa

            Listen, I’m down with Boykin getting a chance to compete for a spot on the outside. I’m just very against the idea of ‘Move him to the outside cuz he was our best CB, in the nickel, for one year’! Limited snaps, last year…was not impressed at all with him being on the outside, and he was way better in the nickel. Now did he not get enough of an opportunity to get comfortable??? That’s a definite possibility, but that’s not how the league works. Gotta show and prove with the chances you get.

            And yes, teams do specifically target players for nickel CB, all the time. Be it for the next 9 years or not. The position and importance of the position has evolved to warrant it! There’s not many guys that can make the switch from outside to in, or vice versa, especially, doing it in the fly game in and game out. Maybe Boykin is one of the few. But he has to prove that instead of just being handed it, cuz he played the slot well.

            Yes there’s a chance he could go to another team. However, if Roseman puts a 5mil contract (or whatever the price gets up to, due to cap inflation), I doubt there are going to be a number of other teams willing to shell out more money, starter money, and garuntee a starting spot…to a kid that has not proven himself on the outside and has very little experience. So no, it’s not all doom and gloom.

            Maybe with Cary or Fletch being gone after this year, and another year of Boykin excelling and “mastering” the slot, then he gets his chance. Especially if we can walk away with rookie that can learn from the bench, this year.

          • Token

            So you believe in the theory that not only will the Eagles pay him 5+ million to play 50% of the snaps but that Boykin will except it just because the Eagles are so grand? No. He wants to start. hes a competitor and wants to be out there. Theres no reason for him to stay here if hes playing the slot.

            Will he jump outside and be amazing day one? Who knows. Most all corners that come in the league will have a transition period. I remember Sam Shields being pretty bad for a time. Id rather he get out there and get the experience now. All you are losing is Cary Williams. If they cant find another capable corner then I guess none of this matters anyway.

          • RIP illa

            Must you turn into a complete and utter F’n A-hole, in every convo??? SMH!!!

            Yes he may want to be a starter, but he also wants to get paid! I don’t know if Howie would pay that…too many factors that have yet to be determined. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility or even probability. There’s gonna be an increase in wages, as the salary cap increases! It’s not unprecedented, in the least bit, for nickel corners to make that and/or more! If they really wanna keep him, they will pay a little more than the average, for the position! And there’s still the fact that it’s unlikely that any other team is gonna pay him more, to start on the outside, without him proving that he can start on the outside and with him having very little experience! Now if a team wants to pay him more to be a nickel, with the opportunity to compete for a starting spot…Then so be it. It will be up to The Eagles to either match or come up with a little more, while giving him the same opportunity. This goes back to…If they really want him…!!!

            There is still time on his contract, so no decisions of money, or the opportunity to play on the outside, have to be made now! There was nowhere, in my previous comments, that suggested, any type of “Eagles are so grand” thinking and/or logic!

            What I believe is…that Boykin needs to play well this year. That the Eagles need to get a backup nickel or a guy who can play both in and out, behind Boykin. That Boykin needs to maximize his opportunities, if given, on the outside. And then given a legit chance to earn the starting role, next year!!! If he should earn the spot, then this helps us, by putting us in a position to move on from Fletch, C-Will, or both, without having 3 holes to fill! Instead, we would just have possibly one hole to fill! It’s really not that hard to follow!

          • Token

            But he would get paid anyway. Never mind. We arent gonna get anywhere with this.

          • Jernst

            I actually completely agree with Token and think he’s been very calm, certainly calmer than you are, wavin’ the gun around, calling people F’n A-holes.

          • RIP illa

            That’s good to know.

          • JofreyRice

            yeah, I don’t think anyone is advocating naming him the starter without a competition. But from the way Davis and Chip have been discussing Boykin, they are not going to give him a shot to start on the outside at all, simply because he’s not tall enough.

            I’d say Boykin has graduated the masters course in the slot, already; nabbing 6 picks, including the one that sent the Eagles to the playoffs (against a 6’2 Miles Austin), forcing fumbles at big times (chasing down Gates in redzone springs to mind), and being used as an OLB pretty much checks every box for me.

          • RIP illa

            Yes, that’s exactly what some on here are advocating for.

            Your response to Davis and Chips quotes…I get that. And that’s where all the In Chip We Trust, BS should come in, knowing both you and I do not buy into that philosophy. Yes he excelled, but for one year. I want/need consistency. Do it again, and I’ll agree that he’s mastered the spot. Yet still, we need someone to takeover for him in the slot. And for all the people saying that we should move him…none are addressing this issue! No it’s not as frustrating to listen to, as it was during last season, now that we have an actual chance to find a replacement, but it needs to be addressed, by commenters, nonetheless. And it’s not as simple as, ‘Just draft someone else in later rounds, Derp’!

            The height thing doesn’t bother me when a player is 5’11, as much, but Boykin is 5’9 with 31 1/2in arms. That has to be taken in consideration. Not saying that he is not or cannot be one of those rare players that transcend his size, but those type of players are few and far between. There are serious disadvantages to that, that must be considered. Whether they can be mitigated or not, it still must be taken into account. Off topic, but I also find it way too funny that some of the same people who bashed DJax on size, and are fully in support of getting bigger at WR, are also in support of putting Boykin at the outside spot.

            As of now, I can’t get out the torch and pitchfork in support of the move, until certain conditions are met.

        • Token

          Well yea. If you keep a solid 4 corners one or two of them should be projected to be able to play inside right?

          You dont draft corners in hopes they make a career out of being your slot guy. You draft players you believe can be starting caliber players eventually. At least, thats what good teams do.

          So if the Eagles draft a mid round corner this year he should be a guy they can see playing 40-50% of snaps inside the next two years if they actually planned on moving Boykin.

          Thats assuming they dont want to move Boykin inside on certain downs, which is a option if your 3rd best guy is only of much use as a outside corner. That way the 3 best players are on the field, but the 2 best players are on the field for 95+% of snaps.

          So lets say they draft a corner first round and hes strictly a outside guy. Well in that case you start Boykin and Fletcher. Boykin would then be still playing 40-50% of his snaps inside while the rookie is on the outside for those snaps.

          But personally id want Boykin to be on the better WR as often as possible. So the guy id draft would be versatile.

    • JofreyRice

      yeah, bench Cary, he sucks. He’ll probably see the field anyway, given Fletcher’s injury history.

      • Token

        We are really talking about a guy in Cary thats gone next year anyway. And Fletcher who expires. If im the Eagles, im planning for a future with Boykin filling one starting spot and figuring the rest out. Maybe resign Fletch next year for the other spot while drafting a corner this year.

        Boykin is starting here or with some other team. The ball is in the Eagles court with how to handle this. Im hoping they arent thinking like some fans do that Boykin will sign here to play the slot for the next 5 years. The kid has been pretty clear on that front. He will have options, theres not reason for him to have to take that.

        • JofreyRice

          I mean, I like measureables and all that, but at some point, you have to look at the player.

    • http://boyga.com/ joolyen

      The only problem is if he wants to play outside he’s probably going to leave as a free agent so he can play outside.

  • Mike J

    Do I like the kid? Yes. Is it disappointing for him he’s not a “starter?”, Yes. But Boykin excels because he is inside. Agreed, gotta keep him there and let him make plays.
    Now…you want to draft some competition for Williams…I’m all for that. If he made half as many plays as his wolf’in would indicate…he’d be a decent player. I know we were in a bind last off season…but it should have been addressed this off season.

    • Token

      I dont get this argument either. Why do you think its all because hes inside? He can cover other guys, simple. He can make plays on the ball. Why is the inside thought to be much easier? Many teams will put their top WRs in the slot throughout a game, its not like hes always facing chumps.. In the slot you dont have the sideline as your friend like you do on the outside.

      • NickS1

        We 100% agree on this. I do not get it.

      • Mike J

        I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but typically your slot/inside WR’s are smaller. Again, typically. Boykin’s size can’t be exploited…as much…inside.
        Don’t get me wrong…love the kid and he’s clearly a ball hawk and play maker. Just not sure he’d be as effective against bigger, taller WR’s on the outside.

        • JofreyRice

          Alterraun Verner, Ladarius Webb, Captain Munnerlyn, Brent Grimes, Joe Haden, Pac Man, Tim Jennings all these guys are within an inch or two of Boykin, and none of them have his leaping ability. Those guys do just fine against NFL wideouts. It’s great that Seattle can do the big cornerback thing, but Cary Williams isn’t Richard Sherman. He’s not even Byron Maxwell.

        • Token

          ugh. Because of Seattle everyone thinks you need 6’10 corners. The majority of starting corners in the NFL are within like a inch or two of Boykin. He didnt look overmatched against Dez Bryant or Jordy Nelson from what I could tell. Hes got a good vertical. Seems to time jumps well. Good at playing the ball.

          This needing a tall corner thing is bogus. Cary Williams is plenty tall. Doesnt make him suck any less. Curtis Marsh has the height you crave. Still Sucks.

          Remember that Sheldon Brown guy the entire city loved? 5-10.

          • Mike J

            Love that we can all have an opinion w/o being cracked on…LOL SMH

  • anon

    Seems like the a** whooping the Broncos gave us really affected chip. He always brings them up when talking about people they’ll be playing against. I like that long memory.

  • Token

    Simply put no he wont get his shot here. Chip favors size over ability. Unless he collapses he will get paid starter money to start somewhere else. Shame.

  • myeaglescantwin

    ( i can’t wait to get blasted for this idea)

    I was talking with a few respected football minds about Boykin. We all agreed they need to find more ways to get him on the field.

    I made a point that all the CBs they have, + the DB’s they brough in with Carrol and Jenkins, they all are comfortable in man up coverage. I shot out the idea the we allow Williams+Fletcher+Carrol handle the main duties in a press man scheme. We keep Jenkins up as the strong safety box player & move Boykin back to a 20yd deep cover-1 FS.

    No one disagreed that Boykin would be able to excel in that position given some tutelage. We were quite hesitant to take Boykin out of that nickel role because he has been so productive.

    what do you guys/gals think??

    • NickS1

      Suggested this hypothetical to see what people thought about 2 months ago. Saying they weren’t receptive to it would be an understatement. No one here thinks is a good idea. I’m not against giving it a whirl.

    • JosephR2225

      Let me suggest an equally unpopular idea.

      Jenkins is more of a S/CB hybrid than a pure Safety. He lined up over the slot receiver more than any other player on the Saints last season. With Boykin last year, there were still several packages that had Chung dropping down to cover the slot receiver (if you don’t believe me, ask Dez Bryant).

      The Eagles have Boykin under contract for two more seasons, after which I think it is almost certain he will walk. He believes he is an outside corner, he wants to be an outside corner, he will want to get paid like an outside corner. His trade value is likely never going to be higher than it is now.

      Somebody talk me out of this.

      • JofreyRice
        • JosephR2225

          Thanks!

        • myeaglescantwin

          + he shadowed DeSean on more than a few plays during last year’s playoff game. didn’t do too bad if you remember correctly.

          yet another reason to drop boykin back into that deep cover-1.

          Fletcher / Williams on the outside
          Carrol and Jenkins playing man press on the slots & TE.
          Boykin laying back deep waiting for someone to test him.

      • myeaglescantwin

        hahaha,, I’ve never advocate trading a playmaker on defense.

        In today’s NFL they will get nothing more than a 4-6th rounder.
        That is not worth it in any scenario for the Birds.
        If Boykin wants to test the market, let him. No reason to drop our top playmaker for a late round selection that might not pan out.

        not saying it can’t happen.. I would just sulk in my cornflakes for a week.

        • NickS1

          Just a week? It’d as bad as Graham over Thomas. Or letting Dawk leave.

          • myeaglescantwin

            so true.

            as terrible as it sounds. i was fine with letting Dawkins walk.
            We should have thrown him a legitimate deal..

            but think back to the NFC championship game against the Cardinals.. he had beanie lined up at 4 yard line. Instead of a fundamentally sound tackle. dawkins tried to pop the RB with a shoulder shot.. Beanie took the hit and spun into the endzone..

            Dawkins thought he was 230… didn’t work towards the end of his career.

            I think dawkins and Allen would have been a great duo for a few years.

      • NickS1

        We cut a pro bowler. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

    • JofreyRice

      I dunno, Davis did have him playing outside linebacker for a stretch there.

    • peteike

      not sure players changing position is such a great idea. Rarely works but I wouldnt say its completely out of the question. I doubt Boykin would want to do that, hes said he wants to play outside. Now youd just be making one of your best defenders unhappy. I think he def has the skillset to do it though and its an interesting idea.

      • myeaglescantwin

        i’m just trying to put the defenders in the best postition to make plays..

        I doubt Boykin would get upset getting paid as a starting safety.

        a 5’8 corner is not a full time corner. It’s not like he can sneak around the field like he likes to do when he’s on the outside.
        can Boykin cover Dez in the redzone? Cruz? Garcon? Fitz? Colston?

    • Warhound

      Davis wants interchangeable safeties.

      • myeaglescantwin

        ture there is never a strong side.

        you move the back pieces according to what the O is showing.

  • JofreyRice

    If Boykin isn’t given a shot to play on the outside–and make outside money on his second contract–he won’t re-sign here. There are a bunch of guys around Boykin’s size, without the benefit of his athletic ability, that start outside. He’s not Joselio Hanson, someone is going to pay him to start. If the Eagles match starter’s money for a guy playing 50-55% of the snaps–which is a big “if”, in my mind–then it will just be a matter of Boykin’s desire to play. From the sound of it, he wants to be on the field as much as possible. I hope they can work something out that is agreeable for Boykin, because I’d hate to see him go.

    • NickS1

      God I hated that they mentioned Hanson. Dude is light years beyond Hanson.

      • JofreyRice

        he’s really the gem of Howie’s draft’s so far. In a pool of a bunch of guys that are solid at best, Boykin is a real difference maker. Not to be overly dramatic, but I believe he’s the kind of guy that helps you win championships.

        • Weapon Y

          Boykin and Foles are the two gems so far. They both have been freakishly outstanding. But yes, I agree with your point. Perhaps he could become a CB/S hybrid like Tyrann Mathieu so the Eagles could keep him on the field more. It would ease Kelly’s concerns about having big outside CBs and get Boykin on the field more. He could be the nickel CB and a rotational safety.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          sure, but Logan was a 3rd rounder and Wolff a 5th. They have a starter from a UDFA, and Cox needs to have 1 damn scheme and coach for more than a year before we write a 23yr old kid off as any sort of a bust. Worst of the group so far is Kendricks make or break year for him. Not sure if that was more Reid or Howie, but either way not as if he’s a complete bust.
          Done ok for FA. I’m not ready to pitchfork the FO yet, but they really need to send high picks on defense if they expect playmakers. Getting starters in later rounds is great, but can’t rely on offense putting up 30+ pts every game.

          • JofreyRice

            No, definitely not calling any of those guys out and out busts, just that the way Boykin has played is clearly a cut above. Like I said, when I watch Boykin, I just see the kind of guy that plays like a champion. Best when it counts most. Wolff’s a little bit more of an unknown for me. I’m not sure he’s definitely a starting NFL safety, yet.

            I’m a fan of Fletcher Cox, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for as long as possible, there is just too much athletic talent there, for such a huge guy. That being said, he’s not what I’d thought he’d be, yet. Like you said, another year is reasonable considering all the upheaval he’s gone through; 3 different DL Coaches and systems in 2 seasons.

          • Token

            Cox can play the game. He has the ability. I think the scheme they played last year cut off his nuts. Just weird to choose to play a scheme that damn near nobody on your roster does very well. I still have high hopes for Cox tho.

            Kendricks, lets not hold our breath. Loved the pick. But im not sure he will ever get it mentally. Like you said, this is THE year for him here. Id hate to have two holes at ILB to fill.

            Logan could probably be a really good 3-4 DE. But hes gonna get shoved into the NT spot. Dont know how thats gonna work. We will see what size he comes in at. But strength is the main thing hes gonna have to add to do the NTs job in this scheme.

            Wolff is a wildcard to me. His college tape was terrible. But seemed to do ok last year, but it was such a limited sample size to really know. Id bet they wont draft a safety and put all their eggs in the Jenkins-Wolff basket.

          • JofreyRice

            they always have Nate Allen to roll out there again. Ugh.

            I’m really just hoping for an offensive draft that gives them an “unsolvable puzzle” for opposing DCs. I don’t think this defense is going to be a top 15 unit under Kelly’s watch, but I think the offense can be pretty special.

          • cliff henny

            yup, resigned to this 15 months ago. also, think we cant look at conventional defensive stats. 15th ranked defense might work just fine, if it’s getting TOs and forcing FGs.

          • Token

            Yea. You gotta be elite at one or the other. Offense would be the best bet. I just need the defense to get to “good enough” level. And theres a ways to go to get just to that IMO.

            At very least, I want a defense capable of pinning their ears back and pressuring the hell out of the opposing QB when we are ahead by 2-3 scores. We didnt have that last year. At least gotta get the pass rush improved.

          • cliff henny

            30 pnts? i’m expecting 40, hoping for 50! Hopefully Kelly learned to not call off the dogs midway thru 3rd quarter.

          • NickS1

            Cox, Kendricks, and Foles are Reid picks, or at least that’s how I’ve consistently heard it.

          • NickS1

            “but can’t rely on offense putting up 30+ pts every game.”
            I think Chip disagrees and would take that as an insult and a challenge.

        • NickS1

          Time will tell who the gem of Howie’s drafting is, but I do agree he’s the kind of person and playmaker that you need to have around.

        • EaglefaninAZ

          Two months ago, I had a dream that he had a pick 6 to win the Conference. And I never dream about the games. lol

    • Token

      Picking size over ability will not get you very far. Its becoming a scary trend. The obsession with Jordan speaks to it.

      I like large players, but the talent comes first. Without talent the size doesnt mean a whole lot. Does being 6’3 make Cary get burnt any less?

  • eaglefansocal

    Everyone needs to chill out on this Boykin thing! Let’s at least wait until the draft is over to worry about his future. I think the Eagles can get his play percentage up to 70 to 75% without having to play him on the outside much. I also believe they will lock him up with an extension before next season, maybe even during this season. Also, I don’t know the numbers, but I think if you count special teams snaps he might have played 60% of snaps last year already.

    • peteike

      yup, he could even play this entire next season in same role before we fans even have to discuss these same things again

      • cliff henny

        yup! wash rinse repeat, basically what we’ve been doing for 4 months

  • Warhound

    What about run defense? Is that part of the fascination with big corners?

  • Ryan

    Great slot corner in a league where the slot is such a big key to success. Not sure he’d be as good on the outside but definitely better than what we have. I’d have him in the slot whenever needed… Potentially split outside in sets that don’t require him to be the nickel db. absolutely insane to move him out of the nickel position though. Kid is a beast there and it fits his skill set nicely

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    I doubt Boykin will accept a low ball special from the Eagles after the season. If they don’t give him an honest chance to win a starting job this summer, he’s not going to sign an early extension. Will test the waters when his rookie deal expires in 2015. Better be prepared to lose him.