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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Rakeem Boyd

  • The Draft Network
  • January 14, 2021
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Rakeem Boyd spent his freshman season at Texas A&M and then transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO) Junior College. He went on to become one of the top JUCO rushers in the country prior to signing with the Razorbacks. Boyd is a short step, but competitive runner that plays the game at his own pace. He explodes through holes when given a clear alleyway, but also exhibits plenty of patience prior to doing so. A patient and accurate runner with seeing holes, he allows concepts to play out prior to attacking vacant areas. In 2019, Boyd was used all over the field, primarily as a slot option, split out wide, and even on jet sweeps for incoming motions. In 2020, a lot of that creativity wasn’t seen. As a threat in the passing game, he’s a hands-catcher that can survive on certain routes, but isn’t one that offensive coordinators can scheme entire concepts around based on down and distances. Quick wheel routes out of the backfield were the most frequent route that he experienced success on. When navigating through traffic, Boyd can be a bit of a pinball in his approach. He doesn’t often seek ways to make defenders miss. He’d rather use his body weight to lower his shoulder and hope to bounce off of tacklers for more momentum yards. Boyd’s side-to-side agility can come and go in spurts. Creating extra yardage is challenging as a result. Mostly a straight ahead and linear runner, he’s best in a power running scheme due to his lack of consistent quick twitch ability. Pass protection is another area that Boyd has struggled with, as he doesn’t know the technique(s) necessary to withstand. He also lacks the body strength overall to take contact head on.

Ideal Role: No. 3 RB in a committee.

Scheme Fit: Downhill rusher in a gap/man/power blocking scheme.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Tennessee (2020), Florida (2020), Mississippi State (2020), Georgia (2020)

Best Game Studied: Tennessee (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Georgia (2020)

Vision: Boyd can get tunnel vision and become so fixated on where concepts are designed to go that he misses other holes. However, there are other times when he peeks at the cut-back too soon and it results in him missing clear lanes if he were to stay on schedule. When he is decisive, Boyd is a vertical runner that is able to churn out positive yardage. 

Footwork: Has the ability to hop, skip, and then plant to any hole that he wants. Boyd is a patient runner whose feet stay aligned to his body and is hardly ever in a rush. There are times where his eyes outrace his feet and he’s not ready to accelerate through holes that his eyes see, but when pullers are ahead of him, he displays proper patience to allow his blockers to stick on assignments. 

Contact Balance: Possessing a high-cut, but rocked-up build, Boyd has the body armor to consistently take on and weather tacklers that encounter his frame. Despite a thin lower body, he’s able to step out of and through arm tackles routinely. Shots to his upper body have little success, as that’s where a bulk of his mass is located. A natural forward-leaner as a runner, Boyd has experienced success with breaking tackles. 

Durability: Boyd hasn’t suffered any notable injuries to date that have sidelined him for an extended period of time. Over the past two seasons, he’s served as the main rusher for the team's attack and proven to be capable of shouldering a full workload. On the next level, he’s a player that could provide value sparingly or in certain situations.

Explosiveness: His most explosive runs have come when he’s provided runway and is able to build up speed. While he’s not a quick accelerator, he has the momentum necessary to build up and run past defenders that have angles on him from various parts of the field. Mostly leaning forward when he runs, he turns into an upright rusher when in the clear.

Versatility: Showing more versatility in 2019 compared to 2020, Boyd is capable of being a running back that can fit into the passing game. Occasionally he can align in different spots, but it’s not something that he may be comfortable doing for many reps throughout games. A hands-catcher at the position, Boyd can run underneath patterns that include check-downs, swings, and angle routes out of the backfield.

Elusiveness: His lateral movements are patient, but are sporadically seen as he can be in a hurry at times depending on the down and distance. Boyd isn’t much of a make-defenders-miss type of running back. Instead, he wants to use his frame and pads to his advantage by lowering his center of gravity and challenging the willingness of tacklers.  

Ball Security: Early on during his career, Boyd has some problems with putting the ball on the ground, but during his final two seasons he cleaned up his mechanics with ball security. Holding the ball a little bit higher was a noticeable adjustment for him and it proved to be a technique that worked in his favor over time. 

Passing Down Skills: While he wasn’t involved as much in the passing game during his final season, Boyd is capable of being on the field as a three-down receiving threat. His biggest deficiencies come when he’s asked to stay in and pass protect. He doesn’t possess the lower-half mass to withstand contact from second- and third-level defenders on blitz pickups nor the technique to execute protection responsibilities. 

Discipline: Staying on schedule is a back and forth dilemma that he’s battled with during all three of his seasons. Boyd can be too indecisive with peaking at the cutback lane too soon and it results in his feet and eyes not matching exactly what he wants to do. When out of rhythm, he doesn't have the agility necessary to get back on course. When he makes a mistake, all that he can do to correct it is to plunge forward and gain as much positive yardage as he can.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 70/100

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