Some football players are measured more by their intensity than their height; Boyett certainly fits in that category. Though he won't hit the 5-foot-11 mark on the measuring tape at the Combine, he's had no problems making plays on the ball as a three-year starter at free safety and opposing receivers and running backs will tell you his hits come as hard as those from any prototypically-sized defensive back. Having his senior season end after just one game because he had surgery on both knees (partial tears in both patella tendons that had bothered him for the entire 2011 season) will be another knock against Boyett - but don't count him out.
Boyett was a dual-threat high school quarterback (3,450 yards, 39 TD passing and rushing as a senior) and four-star prospect as a safety coming out of Napa, California, so it was no surprise when he played well filling in for an injured T.J. Ward during his redshirt freshman year; he earned FWAA Freshman All-American honors with 90 tackles, three interceptions, and five pass break-ups. He intercepted five passes and broke up nine others in his second year as an honorable mention all-conference starter in 2010, and followed that up with a second-team All-Pac 12 junior campaign (108 tackles, 3.5 for loss, interception, six pass break-ups). Boyett managed two tackles and an interception in the Ducks' rout of Arkansas State in the 2012 opener before decided to have the corrective surgery.
Usually plays single high safety, last line of defense and deepest player in coverage in spite of below-average height for the position. Adequate range on downfield throws, takes aggressive angles and really attacks the catch point. Not afraid in the least to lay out to cause a deflection or make the interception. Can change his angle to adjust to the pass or receiver. Very aware of the likely target on many passes, shuffles to that side. Plays with an attitude. Watches eyes of quarterback and can comprehend what is going on in the backfield. Stays in position and closes early on only route for reverse pass. When playing in the box, makes sure to stick nose in the action. Uses hands to fight cut blocks on screen passes. Even against quick moves in space he grabs a leg and holds onto it.
Will not meet the defensive back height minimums used by some NFL teams. Closing speed when flipping hips, turning and running is only adequate, not going to gain a bunch of ground in the aspect. Does not have the speed to reach vertical route on the end receiver on trips side. Gives too much cushion on slot receiver when aligned in man coverage, makes sure not to give up big play but allows outside breaking route. Sometimes too aggressive, not afraid to hit a defenseless receiver.
Boyett might be a bit shorter than most scouts prefer at free safety, but he has good athleticism and is as tough and intelligent as any defensive back in this class. Hes made plenty of plays in coverage (nine interceptions, 20 PBU) and led the Ducks in tackles in a second-team All-Pac-12 junior season, but surgery to repair partial tears in both patella tendons ended his senior year prematurely. His Combine medical exams will need to check out before teams give him the mid-round grade his talent deserves.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.