The question was simple enough after an excruciatingly long three days of watching and waiting.
“Hey, would you like to be a Jet?” Rex Ryan asked Tajh Boyd in a call late Sunday afternoon.
Tajh Boyd had his pro landing spot, a chance to live out a dream.
“You know, man, I was so excited,” Boyd said. “It was to the point where I didn’t know what was going to happen in that situation. I was sitting in the car, had the seat real reclined, had a hat over my head and I get a call with a New York area code on it.
“It was probably the most refreshing call and the most exciting call that I ever received in my life. I’m excited about it, I’m excited to be a Jet and looking forward to getting up there.”
Boyd won a Clemson-record number of games in his time as starting quarterback, leaving his imprint all over the record books.
This chance seemed a given from his sophomore season on, but a draft-stock drop over the last seven months cast a little more doubt.
“It’s something that not a lot of people get a chance to do,” Boyd said. “To have the opportunity to be a NFL quarterback and go out there and compete is an amazing feat in itself. The road has been so long to get to this point and to have the opportunity is an amazing feeling.”
The draft “experts” had their say Sunday – identifying the 6-foot gunslinger's strengths...and several areas for improvement.
“The thing that jumped out to me more than anything studying Boyd’s tape is he’s an exceptional competitor,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said. “This guy is tough. He did anything to win games and he won a lot of games. He’s 37-8 as a starter. He comes from an offense that does not translate well to the NFL.
“There’s a lot of bubble screens, underneath throws and midsdirection. He had great wide receivers that helped him out. He’s got to work on his accuracy from inside the pocket. He struggles to see the entire field. He has the mobility, competitiveness and enough arm strength to work with for a sixth-round pick.”
Former GM Bill Polian says Boyd’s throwing motion troubles him.
“Here’s the problem: inconsistent arm angle,” Polian said. “Sometimes the throw comes from here. Sometimes the throw comes from (there). As a result, inconsistent accuracy. He has to clean that up if he’s going to make it in the National Football League.”
“He’s got the live arm though,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. countered. “He’s a tough kid. He’s over six-foot tall…This is a kid who can make plays with his legs when the situation dictates. When he was putting up his numbers, was thinking third round – then you get into the scrutinization of the prospects and draft scenario with the draft two weeks later in May and he gets pushed down.”
Boyd will enter camp as third-string at best, behind incumbent starter Geno Smith and free agent signee Michael Vick.
He’s eager to show what he can do.
“They obviously have some very good quarterbacks up there. Mike Vick has been like a mentor to me,” Boyd said. “I’ve known Geno since high school. The opportunity to get reunited with those guys is interesting. I’m looking forward to it. At the end of the day, I’m just going to play my game. Go out there and be the quarterback I can be and just show the coaches that I was worthy of this pick.”