The Cincinnati Bengals drafted wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It’s time to see what he can do in 2018.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Boyd had a tremendous rookie season in Cincinnati hauling in 54 passes for 603 yards and a touchdown. With star wide receiver A.J. Green hurt, Boyd was given more opportunities in the offense and took full advantage of it.
Unfortunately, last season was a step back as Boyd saw few opportunities in 2017. He lost snaps to Brandon LaFell and even Josh Malone last season which led to very few opportunities. Boyd finished the season strong with his 49-yard touchdown catch to defeat the Baltimore Ravens and knock them out of the playoffs.
I fully anticipate John Ross taking over the number two spot across from Green this season, but I would like to see Boyd take on the third wide receiver role. Brandon LaFell is aging and average at best, and with the amount of draft capital the Bengals have used on offensive playmakers in recent years, it’s time to see what they can do. Boyd was drafted by the Bengals with the thought of replacing former slot weapon Mohamed Sanu.
Looking back to what Boyd showed in his rookie year with Green injured and his late 2017 season production, I see no reason to not start him in the slot going forward. While LaFell can be a solid slot weapon, Boyd is much younger and has the potential to be a playmaker in the future. I feel that Boyd also has more overall potential as a receiver than LaFell in his career.
Depending on what offensive coordinator wants to compliment Green and Ross with in 2018, Boyd makes the most sense. We’ve seen him have success and if Lazor’s offense is what it sounds like from interviews this offseason, I see no reason why Boyd wouldn’t see more time over LaFell in the slot. LaFell led the team’s receivers in snaps last year and that should not be close to the case in 2018 when Cincinnati has young talent ready to contribute.
With weapons like Green, Ross, tight end Tyler Eifert, and the running backs, I don’t see a breakout season of close to 1,000 yards for Boyd. More around the 500-yard range coming out of the slot would hugely benefit this new offense. Quarterback Andy Dalton needs a reliable slot weapon and Boyd should be that choice going forward.