Highly touted Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins knows he won’t have to wait long to hear his name called at next week’s NFL Draft.
His college quarterback is hoping for the same even though media mock drafts are predicting otherwise.
Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd believes he will be a second-day selection despite a bumpy pre-draft process.
"Everything I’m hearing is pretty good right now," Boyd told co-host Phil Savage and me Thursday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I’m hearing no later than the third (round). Hopefully it plays out that way."
Forming a potent pairing with Watkins and fellow wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Boyd completed 68.5 percent of his passes last season for 3,851 yards and 34 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also added 10 more touchdowns on runs.
Boyd finished his college career with a 32-8 record and set the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time record for passing touchdowns with 107. But his draft stock took a major hit after a poor January showing at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
"The things I did at Clemson, they didn’t necessarily matter," Boyd admitted.
"Honestly, I think after the whole Senior Bowl experience where it didn’t go as well as some people wanted it to I started to get a whole bunch of negative vibes. That’s not necessarily from the teams (but) more so the media in general."
Rather than dwell on the negative, Boyd embarked on what he described as a personal "rebuilding process." Boyd followed up his NFL Scouting Combine workouts with a strong Pro Day in March that saw him throw just one incompletion in passing drills.
Boyd’s draft-day confidence was further buoyed by what he believes were positive meetings with New England, Carolina, Chicago and St. Louis.
"I got the chance to talk football and throw in front of these teams," he said. "It was all great."
Even if his prophecy of an early selection doesn’t prove true, Boyd said he won’t let his draft status affect his demeanor entering the NFL.
"For me it’s wherever I get the opportunity to play to just take advantage of it and make the most out of it," he said. "Whether it’s Round 1 or Round 7, I’m just excited to get the chance wherever I go."
More of the SiriusXM NFL Radio interview with Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd can be heard here