Miles Boykin surprised many within the Notre Dame fan base, myself included, at the beginning of the year when he decided to leave Notre Dame with a year of eligibility remaining for the NFL. Since then all he has done is make every single one of us make look foolish for wondering why he left early. The first few days of his first NFL training camp have been no different. Boykin is already turning heads.
The NFL hype for Boykin started at the Combine where he put on some kind of performance. Boykin wowed scouts and evaluators with freakish athletic ability including running a sub 4.5 40 yard dash – an incredible time for a receiver his size. The performance delighted his former Notre Dame teammates. The Irish locker room erupted during spring practice as Boykin posted his 40 times.
In the early days of Ravens camp this past week, Boykin has backed up his performance at the combine with impressive practices to start his pro career.
Obviously, the Ravens are three days into training camp. But Ravens rookie third-round pick Miles Boykin has been the most productive and impressive receiver.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) July 27, 2019
It’s still very early, but Boykin is getting reps with the first team already. It might not just be the coaching staff seeing how the rookie handles the Ravens top corners either. There is not much resistance in the 3rd round pick’s way for a starting role. The Ravens are not deep at receiver after parting ways with some of the best receivers from 2018.
The #Ravens continue to give Miles Boykin a good share of the first-team reps with the veteran wide receivers, and the rookie continues to look like he belongs in the early days of camp.
— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) July 27, 2019
Here is one play in particular from last night’s Ravens open practice in M&T Bank Stadium where Boykin raised eyebrows. Second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson lays the ball out downfield for Boykin and lets him run under and make the grab. The catch is very similar to the reception he made against Michigan at the start of last year’s victory over the Wolverines.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 27, 2019
Boykin’s performance is drawing the attention of the Baltimore media as well.
WR Miles Boykin — Boykin was the brightest star on the field Saturday, and the third-round rookie showed off a variety of skills. He blew past Smith for deep catches at least twice (one time it looked like Smith expected help over the top), and he also found seams in the middle of the defense a few times before pulling down receptions across the middle. Boykin looked the part of an immediate contributor Saturday night, and while training camp signs can be deceptive, Baltimore’s coaches have to be encouraged by the 6-foot-3 speedster from Notre Dame. It also helps that Jackson seemed comfortable throwing Boykin’s way.
Notre Dame is quietly building a small collection of receivers in the NFL over the last few years with Boykin joining Will Fuller, Golden Tate, TJ Jones, and Equanimeous St. Brown. If Fuller can stay healthy he has flashed the same star potential that he showed during his sophomore and junior seasons at Notre Dame. Fuller, however, has missed 17 games due to injury over this first three seasons.
Boykin has a great opportunity in front of him with the Ravens this year. It’s remarkable to look back on his almost meteoric rise since that circus touchdown in the Citrus Bowl against LSU. He had an incredible rise in the spring of 2018 and used it as a springboard to being Notre Dame’s leading receiver last fall. That led to his ridiculous combine showing and his 3rd round selection by the Ravens.
At times during his Notre Dame career, Boykin didn’t look like the fastest receiver in the world, but his 40 time suggests that he has top-end speed that Notre Dame wasn’t ever able to fully take advantage of. Right now it looks like the best days of Boykin are still ahead of him and that he has the potential to make an immediate impact in the NFL this fall.