After covering Boykin’s comments about being on the opposite side of the Ravens/Steelers rivalry on the Varsity House podcast with host Shaun Crawford, I had a fan in the comments speculating that Boykin could be the 2022 version of Darrius Heyward-Bey for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After scouring the tape and comparing their two athletic profiles, I embarked on this train of thought and created a movie theater to highlight the similarities the two share as Boykin seeks to follow in DHB’s footsteps. as he tries to make the Pittsburgh roster after things didn’t work out with his first league stoppage. I appreciate the suggestion, Matt, now let’s dive into it.
Boykin responds he’s on opposite side of Ravens-Steelers rivalry: ‘I don’t like playing y’all’
Darrius Heyward-Bey was a phenomenal athlete coming out of Maryland in 2009, measuring 6’1 5/8″, 210lb and ran a blistering 4.30 40 with a 4.18 short shuttle, 6.80 three cone, 38.5″ vert, and a 10 Jump in width ‘6”. The Raiders made DHB the seventh overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, spending five seasons in Oakland with his best season in 2011 when he played in 15 games (14 starts) and recorded 64 receptions for 975 yards and four touchdowns . However, DHB fell short of his high billing project, never exceeding 1,000 receiving yards with the team and was in and out of the lineup due to injuries and other receivers passing him on the depth chart.
DHB signed with the Steelers in 2014 after spending a year with the Indianapolis Colts and ended up making the roster primarily through his special teams contributions, playing 38% of snaps that season according to to the reference of professional football. DHB would go on to play a total of 894 special teams during its time in Pittsburgh from 2014 to 2018.
Still, DHB managed to force his way into the offense on occasion during his time in Pittsburgh, recording 33 receptions for 517 yards and four scores as well as four carries for 85 yards and two rushing scores in five seasons with the ‘crew.
While a former top ten in the draft, DHB was the definition of a team player during his time in Pittsburgh, serving primarily as a deep receiver and made his bones as a core special team in his season. 31 years. While also a special teams ace, DHB has proven to be a capable blocker at receiver, sticking his nose in and doing the dirty work to contribute to the team.
Appearing on the Varsity House podcast with Shaun Crawford recently, Mils Boykin said he knows his ability to make the Steelers also revolves around his ability to impact special teams units and win as a great WR. athletic on the field. When you look at Boykin’s career to date, there are many similarities between his journey so far and Heyward-Bey. Boykin was the Ravens’ third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, showcasing impressive athleticism in a 6’4 2/8”, 220 lb frame. Boykin ran a 4.42 40, a 4.07 short shuttle, a 6.77 three-cone and posted a 43.5” green as well as an 11’8” wide jump at the NFL Combine.
However, despite his top-notch athletic talent, Boykin struggled to make the transition to the NFL. In three seasons with the Ravens, Boykin started 24 of 40 games played and recorded 33 receptions for 470 yards and seven touchdowns. Just like Heyward-Bey, Boykin has also struggled with injuries, especially last season when he only played eight games due to a hamstring injury. Add to that the fact that he’s a raw receiver as a road runner and sometimes struggles with falls, like DHB in his early years at Oakland, and you have a receiver that was on the bubble. off the roster before the offseason.
This led to Boykin being waived by the Ravens this offseason and eventually being claimed by the Steelers who were very interested in him during the pre-draft process. With Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens and Calvin Austin III all locked to make the roster, Boykin understands his best chance of making the 53-man roster impacts special teams units, just like DHB. did when he arrived. in Pittsburgh. Despite limited action in three seasons in Baltimore, Boykin recorded 417 special teams snaps in three seasons, serving as a proficient shooter and kicking coverage guy.
Along with being a proficient special teams contributor, Boykin is also a willing blocker at receiver like DHB, sticking his face in the fan like a bigger receiver on the outside and will make blocks on the field, certain that the Steelers’ wide receivers struggled with as a unit last season.
Much like Heyward-Bey, Boykin also has that ability to contribute as an HWS receiver when called upon, having the speed to win on the field as well as the size and catching radius to present his QB with a high target. size in combat combat. situations like in midfield near the winning line as well as in the red zone.
In summary, the hope is that Miles Boykin can benefit from a change of scenery in Pittsburgh and become a more complete WR at just 25, building on his physical gifts and becoming a regular contributor on offense. However, even if he never achieves that edge he has, Boykin should be able to be the Darrius Heyward-Bey of this era and play a role similar to the one he played for half a decade in Pittsburgh. Both share impressive athletic traits, pedigree, as well as the ability to contribute to special teams, being able to wear multiple hats, and doing whatever is asked of them to help the team. It would make a great WR5 on the depth chart for years to come.
What do you think of Miles Boykin? Do you think he profiles a role similar to that of Darrius Heyward-Bey in Pittsburgh? Do you see any similarities between the two? Do you think Boykin is on the 53 player list? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!