Today is the fourth day of FOX Sports Wisconsin Packers writer Paul Imig’s offseason evaluations of every player on Green Bay’s roster. Come back every day between now and mid-March for his in-depth film and statistical analysis and check out the schedule below:
Season stats: 10 games, five receptions, 27 yards, zero touchdowns; four special teams tackles, three missed tackles
Best game: Week 9 win over Arizona (season-high 24 snaps; two targets, two receptions, seven yards, four yards after catch; minus-0.4 PFF offense rating)
Worst game: Week 15 win at Chicago (five snaps, zero targets; one special teams missed tackle; minus-1.0 PFF special teams rating)
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: Minus-1.5 offense rating (second-worst among Packers wide receivers; better than only Donald Driver); minus-1.5 special teams rating (fourth-worst among Packers special teams players)
Expectations at the start of the season: Low
Expectations were … Met
Looking live: Boykin’s NFL career began in May 2012 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he lasted only three days before being waived. A week later, Boykin signed with Green Bay after a successful tryout during rookie orientation camp. Throughout the early parts of training camp, Boykin was just another face in a crowded practice among other relatively unknown players. His chances of making the regular-season roster were very slim, as he was ranked well below holdovers Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel on the depth chart. As preseason games began, Boykin was playing well and started to turn some heads with two five-catch performances. It was in Boykin’s preseason finale that he secured his spot on the roster with five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown. Boykin had surpassed Gurley and Borel and earned his spot on a team that was crowded at the wide receiver position. As expected, Boykin didn’t get much playing time in the regular season.
Upon further review: Boykin’s talent was evident. At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, he’s the same size as Jordy Nelson and has hands so large that they require 3XL-sized gloves. Though Boykin’s in-game opportunities were rare, he didn’t drop any of the passes thrown his way this season. Boykin doesn’t have good speed, though, which is why he was used as a possession receiver on short passing plays. The longest pass of the six thrown to him traveled only nine yards. On special teams, Boykin was one of the team’s worst performers, leading the entire group in missed tackles.
Overall 2012 grade: C
Status for 2013: 85 percent chance of being on the active roster in Week 1. The Packers made an investment in Boykin that they knew was highly unlikely to pay off in his first year. Boykin made a name for himself in training camp and then faded into the background during the regular season. It would have been more encouraging and his future in Green Bay would be more certain had he continued to progress at the quick rate he did in training camp and preseason, but there weren’t a lot of opportunities for him to do so. Boykin suffered an injury in the final regular-season game that looked more serious than it turned out to be. With Greg Jennings and Donald Driver almost certainly gone next season, Boykin is the de facto No. 4 receiver on the roster at the moment. If the Packers address the wide position in the draft or sign a veteran, it’s possible he won’t make the team again. But the most likely scenario is that Boykin is on the roster in 2013 and plays a slightly bigger offensive role.