2016 was regarded as having one of the weaker wide receiver Draft classes in recent memory, and it didn't help that the Bengals were unable to land a first-round talent here.
Well, that depends on your definition of first-round ability, as Tyler Boyd was widely viewed a Round 1 prospect during his first two collegiate seasons while shattering record after record with the Pittsburgh Panthers. However, an offseason DUI arrest in 2015 coupled with a drop in production in Pitt's more run-focused offense helped lead to the All-American falling out of favor leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft.
That didn't keep Boyd from being drafted with the No. 55 pick in Round 2 of the draft, giving the Bengals one of the best receivers in college football since 2013. As a true freshman in 2013, Boyd caught 85 balls for 1,174 yards with seven touchdowns, landing him on the Freshman All-American first-team list.
Boyd then caught 78 balls for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns in 2014 while his 27.6-yard kickoff return average ranked 10th in the NCAA. Even with all the issues in 2015, Boyd still finished with a career-high 91 catches as he solidified his status as one of this draft's best pass-catchers.
That's certainly how most of the major draft experts viewed Boyd.
Prior to the draft, Boyd was ranked as NFL.com's 48th-best prospect. CBS Sports had him ranked 47th overall. Yahoo Sports ranked Boyd as their 40th-best prospect, ahead of Will Fuller who was a first-round pick of the Texans.
Scouting hot take: "I'll take him over most of the [receivers] in this class honestly. He's a smooth route runner. He just gets open and catches it." — AFC college scouting director
Player comp: Stefon Diggs
All of this led to an average pre-draft ranking off 47.9 for Boyd, meaning he should have been selected early on Day 2, right around where the Bengals got him.
Over at coldomaha.com, Arif Hasan collected over 40 draft boards and combined them to showcase how players were ranked overall. His ranking had Boyd coming as the 51st-best prospect.
All of this suggests the Bengals got solid value in Boyd by selecting him with the 55th-overall pick.