Jarrett Boykin: Redemption or replacement for Green Bay Packers’ WR?


Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver

Jarrett Boykin

(11) reaches for yards on a catch against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers win 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

After having a surprisingly breakout season in 2013, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, in 2014, fell back to earth like a meteor.

Jarrett Boykin runs after a reception against the Dallas Cowboys. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports photograph

In 2013, you should remember that starting in Week 5 an injury to Randall Cobb forced Boykin up the depth chart and into a regular contributor for the Packers.

He ended up garnering 49 catches for 681 yards and three touchdowns; prorate those numbers across a 16-game season (since he didn’t see any time prior to Cobb’s injury) and those numbers end up at 65 catches, 908 yards and 4 TDs.

Not exactly elite-quality, but a pretty nice contribution from a guy who probably wasn’t expected to do anything beyond spot duty.

Those numbers set him to look like yet another quality find by the Packers‘ front office in the undrafted free agency market.

It wouldn’t have been incredulous to suggest he may be a piece the Green Bay office could use to their advantage for a few years or so if they wanted.

Hearing Mike McCarthy singing his praises in the offseason only further cemented that notion.

Then the draft comes; now all prior expectations fluctuate greatly.

Green Bay drafted not one (Davante Adams), not two (Jared Abbrederis), but THREE (Jeff Janis) receivers.

Still, even with all those additions it didn’t automatically mean the end for Boykin.

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While Adams was grabbed in the second round and surely looked talented, he might’ve been viewed by the organization as someone to develop for the future moreso than insert into significant playing time right away.

The other two receivers were grabbed in the lower rungs of the draft, so obviously they qualified more in the ‘future prospects/development projects’ area.

Going into the season, this thinking held true.

Adams struggled at times with drops in training camp, Abbrederis tore his ACL, and Janis was consistently talked about as being too raw.

Boykin didn’t really stand out much himself, but he didn’t screw things up enough to fall under any of those guys or the rest of the assorted prospects Green Bay assembled at the position in the offseason.

Then the season starts, he gets left on an island against Richard Sherman at Seattle in Week 1, and apparently never recovers.

His production – or lack thereof – definitely had a hand in the 1-2 start for Green Bay; not saying he was a huge cause, but not providing Aaron Rodgers with another viable option in the passing game against some high-quality defenses surely allowed opponents to focus more on Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and the running game.

After that slow start, we saw Adams start to be the guy who was used more. While he lacked consistency in his involvement during the season, he was largely receiving all the third WR looks.

Boykin was left high and dry.

For the year, Boykin garnered only three catches. That’s also how many drops he had as well.

In and of itself, that’s reason enough to not bother bringing him back.

But wait, there’s more!

Jarrett Boykin during the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field in 2013. Green Bay won 55-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

As I mentioned before, Green Bay has those three players (Adams, Abbrederis, Janis) drafted at that position last year. Depending how things fall in free agency and the draft, we could see even more players brought in to compete.

There’s also his skill-set in general.

One way to describe it is an ‘old-man’s game,’ I guess; he isn’t fast, but he can be precise on routes and with little motions/movements to get spacing.

That’s best-case scenario, though, and he showed in 2014 just how much of a hamper his flaws can be on having him on the field.

One last thing: his potential contract.

He wouldn’t be slated to make all that much, even if he was brought back on a tender (the lowest of which guarantees him around $1 million for the season).

But why bring back the guy at any price when not only are there other in-house options that should be more productive, plenty of options in the draft, and still more potential choices to be found in the free agent market at the same price or even less?

The answer is pretty obvious: they shouldn’t.

Next: Randall Cobb is the Packers' 'MVP' of the offseason