If Tyler Boyd, who will be entering his sixth season in the NFL, were playing for a playoff-caliber team, he’d already be known as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. However, he’ll be set to break into the spotlight this coming season.
As the Cincinnati Bengals expect to be a much-improved side with the addition of lineman Riley Reiff and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Boyd will have his chance to become one of the most notable slot receivers in the NFL.
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky heaped praise on Boyd, claiming that he has a chance to be as good as Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin.
Now, if we’re going based on stats alone, Boyd is already there.
According to Pro Football Focus, Boyd’s 126 catches in the slot since 2019 were tied for the second-best in the NFL. He had the most yards from the slot in that two-year span and was tied for the most receptions of over 15 yards with 31.
The numbers are there for Boyd, but as with many on teams that couldn’t find success, they weren’t oftentimes mentioned. A former second-round pick, Boyd’s numbers took a hit last season as he snapped his two-year stretch of hitting 1,000 yards in a season.
The main reason why was the injury to star rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
Boyd still managed 79 receptions, but he had 11 fewer first downs than when he had 76 receptions in 2018. The impact wasn’t quite as there as the Bengals rarely moved the chains.
The Bengals, given their struggling offensive line last year, didn’t get much going. There were only three teams that scored fewer points. Expecting that to change, Boyd should, deservingly so, get more attention this coming season.
That said, it’s nice to see ESPN analysts believing in the potential Boyd has, and if Burrow breaks out into the star he’s already proven he can be, Boyd may top 1,100 yards for the first time in his career.
Then, finally, he may get the respect he’s earned.