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Tyler Boyd on par with fellow 2016 NFL rookie receivers

The Bengals waited until Round 2 to get Tyler Boyd, and he’s ended up producing as well as, if not better than, nearly every rookie receiver.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver was the theme of the Bengals’ offseason this year. It began when Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones left to sign big free agent deals elsewhere, putting Cincinnati in desperate need of a wide receiver.

They signed Brandon LaFell, but still needed additional reinforcements heading into the 2016 NFL Draft.

That led to countless mock drafts projecting various receiver prospects to the Bengals in Round 1. Among the names mentioned were Corey Coleman (went 15th to Browns), Will Fuller (went 21st to Texans), Josh Doctson (went 22nd to Washington), and Laquon Treadwell (went 23rd to Vikings).

Alas, when the 24th pick was made, the Bengals didn’t have a wide receiver on the board worth taking that high, so they opted to wait for one in Round 2. That’s where Tyler Boyd came into play, as the former Pitt Panther went 55th overall to Cincinnati.

Boyd went on to have a great showing in the preseason and training camp, it looked like he was bound for a nice rookie year. It didn’t quite start that way with A.J. Green once again drawing a heavy amount of targets, and veteran Brandon LaFell getting most of the snaps as the second boundary receiver.

That led to Boyd getting an average of just 4.4 targets per game over the first seven games. He has since taken on a bigger role in the offense, thanks in large part to Green now being out, though that is a bit offset with Tyler Eifert now playing after he missed the first six games.

Boyd has drawn an average of 6.8 targets per game during the last five games, and that’s helped his overall season numbers look as good as any rookie receiver from this year’s draft. He’s caught 42 passes for 477 yards and one score.

Boyd's best game actually came back in Week 2 when he had a 6 catch, 78 yard performance against his hometown Steelers, in Pittsburgh. Boyd hasn't had any 100+ yard days, but, he's been fairly consistent, averaging 39.75 yards per game, brought down by two, one-catch games.

His numbers are about on par with every receiver selected within the first 120 picks of the 2016 draft. The one player who has surpassed expectations and is leading all rookies is Ohio State product Michael Thomas who has 69 catches for 831 yards and 7 touchdowns.

As you can see, Boyd has out-produced the four wide receivers drafted in Round 1 in terms of catches, and Fuller has him beat by just 31 yards. Fellow second-rounders Sterling Shepard and Thomas have produced more, but that just reinforces the belief that the Bengals were right to wait until Round 2 to grab a receiver, knowing that one of Boyd, Shepard or Thomas should be on the board at No. 55.

It remains to be seen if the Bengals made the right pick in Round 1 with William Jackson III, but it certainly appears they made a good call waiting until Round 2 to get Boyd.