Pitt's Tyler Boyd: 'I am an athlete'

Local college spotlight from the NFL Scouting Combine:

Among the 300 plus players at the NFL Scouting Combine is University of Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Boyd, who made the decision to forgo his senior season and declare early for the NFL Draft, was the school's all-time leader in receptions with 254 and receiving yards with 3,361.

Boyd said he is hoping to make an impression on NFL teams this week to show that he is worthy of being drafted in one of the top rounds, as some mock drafts have him as a second or third round selection.

"I am trying to sell to them I am a great player, an impact player, a number one guy," said Boyd, who is from nearby Clairton, Pa. "A guy that can come in right away and improve their organization. I let them know how I overcame my wrong doings. That I am a leader and that I lead by example on and off the field. They won't have any controversy of any order."

The "wrong doings" Boyd referred to stemmed from a DUI arrest for the then 20-year old last summer. Boyd said that is behind him.

"I definitely grew a lot from it," said Boyd. "My decision making skills improved. As I have aged, I made sure I surrounded myself with the right people. At the time I feel like my circle was too big and I eliminated a lot of things. Now I realize what I have to do to pretty much handle myself and not follow after other people."

Boyd is making sure he handles himself in a way that opens everyone's eyes at the Combine, starting with interviews and drills. The one drill he is looking forward to most is the three-cone drill where he believes he will run a top speed.

Boyd was asked to be a do it all receiver for the Panthers in 2015 with the absence of running back James Conner, and that included taking handoffs out of the backfield and running shorter routes.

"Coming out of high school I was well prepared taking a couple of handoffs from out of the backfield," said Boyd. "I felt comfortable. We talked about it prior to the season. We were trying to create more ways for me to touch the ball rather than lining up at receiver. I am an athlete. I believe my abilities are suited best to do it all, from a return game, receiver game, pitches or anything."

He also feels ready to do whatever is asked in the passing game, and thinks he can line up outside or in the slot for a team.

"I am a leaner, taller guy," said Boyd, who is 6-2, 200 pounds. "Inside or outside, my routes are crisp. I know how to work both positions. I have that edge over the guy that is going to be challenging me in the slot because I am taller, more physical and that is where I can create most of my mismatches.

"I am smooth route runner. I have great hands. The biggest part of me improving in my game is being explosive. If I can be more explosive, I believe my all-around game can excel."

The 2016 Steelers Fan Blitz presented by Xfinity will be held at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 30. For ticket information and details click on Steelers Fan Blitz.

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