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Cowboys' Potential Draft Pick: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce recently had surgery to repair a broken foot, so he was unable to work out at his Pro Day. The speedster turned in one heck of a Combine, however, with a 4.38 40-yard dash, a 4.10 short shuttle, and 22 reps on the bench press. He’s a big play threat who averaged 15.7 yards-per-catch during his three-year college career but never topped the 1,000-yard mark in a season.

    Scouting Report

    The best predictor of future success is past success. NFL teams way too often overlook players’ college production, particularly at skill positions. The stats for wide receivers in major conferences are actually more strongly correlated with NFL success than just about anything. When we see a player who was mildly productive but never caught more than 66 passes, 998 yards, or nine touchdowns in a season, we have to ask ‘why?’

    One reason we haven’t seen a ton of production from Boyce—at least not what we’d expect from a high draft pick—is that he’s just 5-11, 204 pounds. If you recall, I showed that there’s a very strong relationship between height and success for NFL wide receivers. Short, quick receivers can help to move offenses up the field, but they really have a difficult time in the red zone.

    On tape, Boyce lines up all over the field, but he’ll likely be limited primarily to the slot in the NFL. He has good hands and appears willing to block in the running game.

    NFL Comparison: Donnie Avery

    Avery is a small, fast wide receiver who was severely over-drafted by the Rams. He’s never topped 781 yards in a season, primarily because he’s been forced into a role that doesn’t fit his skill set. Boyce is a similar player who could find more success if he’s used properly.

    Projection

    I’m surprised Boyce isn’t higher in scouts’ rankings. We saw Avery get drafted in the second round just a few years ago and he’s a very close comp for Boyce. Most teams seem to have Boyce rated somewhere in the mid to late-rounds, which is where I think he belongs as a talented but undersized player, but don’t be surprised to see him get drafted too high because of the straight-line speed.

    Fit In Dallas

    The Cowboys had Boyce in for a visit, but I don’t think he’s the type of wide receiver who could help them most. The Cowboys already have two small, shifty wide receivers in Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley, but they really need a third big option at the position in the event that Miles Austin or Dez Bryant go down. Still, Boyce could very well be an option I the fifth round or so.

    Other Scouting Reports

    Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC

    Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

    Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

    Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

    Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

    Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

    D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

    Barrett Jones, C, Alabama

    Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC

    Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

    Larry Warford, G, Kentucky

    Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

    Datone Jones, DT/DE, UCLA

    Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

    Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

    Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee

    Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State

    Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

    Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

    Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn

    Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

    Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

    Kyle Long, G/T, Oregon

    Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers

    Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

    Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU

    Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

    Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia

    Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse

    Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State

    T.J. McDonald, S, USC

    D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

    Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

    JJ Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern

    Brennan Williams, OT, UNC

    Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

    David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado

    Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

    DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

    Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati

    Bennie Logan, DT, LSU

    Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.