The second Notre Dame player to hear his name called during the 2019 NFL Draft was not Julian Love as many expected it would be. It was wide receiver Miles Boykin after the Baltimore Ravens traded back up into the 3rd round to select him with the 93rd overall pick in this year’s draft.
Heading into his senior year at Notre Dame, Boykin was best known for his spectacular one handed touchdown grab against LSU in the 2017 Citrus Bowl, but had not done much prior. That changed in 2018 when he became Notre Dame’s #1 wide receiver and Ian Book’s favorite target. Boykin’s numbers this fall weren’t jaw dropping, but they were more than solid. He hauled in 59 catches for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. All led Notre Dame receiver in 2018.
Boykin had an opportunity to return for a 5th year but decided to pursue the NFL this year. His absolutely ridiculous showing at the NFL Combine helped move his stock up to the point he was selected in the 3rd round after initial projections had him being drafted much later.
Jerry Tillery was the first Notre Dame player drafted this year when he became the first Notre Dame defensive lineman drafted in the first round in 22 years Thursday night.
A Little Notre Dame Wide Receiver Draft History
Miles Boykin is the 10th Notre Dame wide receiver to be drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Prior to Boykin’s selection last night the following receivers were taken in rounds 1-3:
- Will Fuller – 1st Round (21st overall), Houston Texans – 2016
- Michael Floyd – 1st Round (13th overall), Arizona Cardinals – 2012
- Golden Tate – 2nd Round (60th overall), Seattle Seahawks – 2010
- Maurice Stovall – 3rd Round (90th overall), Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2006
- Derrick Mayes – 2nd Round (56th overall), Green Bay Packers – 1996
- Lake Dawson – 3rd Round (92nd overall), Kansas City Chiefs – 1994
- Tim Brown – 1st Round (6th overall), Los Angeles Raiders – 1988
- Jim Seymour – 1st Round (10th overall), Los Angeles Rams – 1969
- Jack Snow – 1st Round (8th overall), Minnesota Vikings – 1965
Boykin is also the 5th wide receiver to be drafted during the Brian Kelly era. In addition to Fuller and Floyd listed above, Equanimeous St. Brown (2016) and TJ Jones (2014) were both 6th round selections on Brian Kelly’s watch.
Chase Claypool has an opportunity to add his name to that list above. He will almost certainly be drafted next year after he returned for his senior season. He’s got a great opportunity to be a very high pick next April. Claypool’s got all of the measurables that the NFL covets. If he puts forth a consistent senior season with numbers similar or exceeding Boykin’s 2018 output, Claypool will likely be a 1st or 2nd round pick.
Immediate Playing Time Likely for Boykin
Wide receiver was one of the biggest needs to the Ravens heading into this year’s draft. They addressed that need not only with Boykin but with Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the first round. Brown and Boykin join a wide receiving corps that lost Michael Crabtree and Jon Brown this off-season.
Chris Moore and Willie Snead are the Ravens top returning receivers but neither has done much to establish themselves as top line starters in the NFL. Brown will almost certainly move into the starting lineup from day one. Boykin too has a chance for immediate playing time. Being a big target, Boykin should work very well with a quarterback like Lamar Jackson who scrambles around a lot.
With Brown, Boykin, and Jackson; the Ravens have built a nice little nucleus of young talent to power their passing game for the next several years.
Next Up for Notre Dame in 2019 Draft
As the draft enters day three today, Julian Love is still waiting for his name to be called. Surprisingly the Thorpe Award finalist has not yet been drafted despite a wild run on cornerbacks to start the 2nd round of the draft. Several teams are likely going to be kicking themselves in a few years when they look at that run and realize they passed on Love.
In addition to Love; Drue Tranquill, Tevon Coney, Dexter Williams, Alex Bars, and Justin Yoon are among the Notre Dame players who hope to hear their name called. Tranquill, Coney, and Williams should all be selected today while Bars and Yoon are up in the air given Bars’s injury and Yoon’s position. Bars is recovering from an ACL injury while most kickers tend to go undrafted.
Round 4-7 of the NFL Draft resume today at noon ET with coverage on ABC/ESPN.