The wait is almost over for one of the bigger question marks surrounding the 2013 season.
Clemson junior quarterback Tajh Boyd is expected to announce if he’s declaring for the NFL draft at a 2:30 p.m. ET press conference in the WestZone. He first announced it via Twitter on Tuesday night, which was confirmed this morning.
His father, Tim Boyd, told the Post & Courier last week his son could be a “top 60” selection, improved from a grade around the third round from the NFL draft advisory board.
Just one draft-eligible quarterback has entered the fray early before the Jan. 15 deadline, in Tennessee's Tyler Bray, after five did so last season. Most-notable of returning gunslingers is Georgia's Aaron Murray for next season’s opener in Death Valley.
Five senior quarterbacks are projected first-round picks by either ESPN or CBS, and CBS has ten in the first-to-third round range overall.
In 2012, four quarterbacks were selected in the first round (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden), one in the second (Brock Osweiler), two in the third (Russell Wilson, Nick Foles) and one in fourth (Kirk Cousins).
The difference in money by round could certainly be a factor.
Last year, Cleveland Browns late first-round pick Brandon Weeden’s contract included a $4.3 million signing bonus, the guaranteed monetary aspect of a contract in the NFL.
In the second round, Denver Broncos selection Brock Osweiler pulled $997,584, and in the third, Seattle’s Russell Wilson negotiated $619,000 and Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, $543,520
Boyd’s decision may or may not be contingent on fellow junior DeAndre Hopkins’ decision.
With “Nuk” potentially back in the fold, Clemson returns 74.7 of its receiving yards, but without, 41.1. Hopkins also made up 45 percent of the reception scores by himself this season.
But sans Hopkins, a senior signal-caller Boyd would still have three of his top-five reception leaders in Sammy Watkins, Adam Humphries and Charone Peake.