With the 55th pick in the NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected University of Pittsburgh receiver Tyler Boyd. The pick makes sense, especially because the Bengals’ No. 2 and 3 receivers (Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu) bolted via free agency. Last season, the two combined for 98 receptions, 1,210 yards and four touchdowns.
Boyd immediately projects as the Bengals’ No. 2 receiver, behind bonafide stud A.J. Green. Last season, Cincinnati’s offense averaged 27.8 points per game in the 12 games before quarterback Andy Dalton’s season was ended by a thumb injury. Green and tight end Tyler Eiffert will attract the majority of attention from opposing defenses, but Boyd should be able to feast on near constant one-on-one matchups.
Boyd can also replace some of the wildcard attribute Sanu contributed. During his days with the Bengals, Sanu spent time as a situational wildcat quarterback and was a threat for end-arounds and receiver reverses. Boyd is adept at both and is plenty comfortable carrying the rock — in his last season, Boyd tallied 40 carries for 349 yards, good for an 8.7 yards per carry average.
Some of the allure in drafting Boyd surrounds his ability in the return game. He served as a punt and kickoff returner for the Panthers, a duty he could potentially resume in the NFL.