The difference between being a good team in the NFL and a great one is often based on whom a team finds in the middle or later rounds of the draft. Everybody's heard the story about where Tom Brady was picked. Some can probably recall exactly where Russell Wilson was selected and what his wife's crazy reaction was like.
We know those in New England and Seattle can.
With such depth in the 2014 NFL Draft, teams will be bargain hunting with a very talented group of prospects to pick from. Might one of them wind up with a similar type of success story by picking a quarterback outside the top tier of players?
NFL Network's Curtis Conway thinks one club will be well served if they take a flier on former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. Conway heaped plenty of praise on Boyd on Monday's "Path to the Draft."
That's going out on a limb for some, but it's easy to see why Conway thinks that. Like Wilson, Boyd had a very successful college career but is going through the pre-draft process with little fanfare.
Physical stature has always been an issue when evaluating Boyd's pro potential -- and his "Fat Boy" nickname probably won't help -- but the 6-foot-1 Boyd clearly has some impressive tape from his days in Death Valley. He is the ACC's all-time leader in touchdown passes thrown and made a good number of plays with his legs, too. Sure he was throwing to Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, among others, in college, but he terrorized more than a few defenses with his arm over the years.
"If you look at all the quarterbacks, Boyd arguably has the best college career out of any of those guys," Conway said. "He can throw every ball. That deep out we love to see from a quarterback? He can do that. He has nice touch on the deep ball. He is mobile enough where he can escape the pocket and throw the ball."
Wilson was taken in the third round, but that might be the upper end of the spectrum for Boyd, who will probably be a third-day pick in May. He didn't leave a great impression at the Senior Bowl but steadily rebuilt his reputation at the NFL Scouting Combine and at Clemson's pro day.
Boyd will be an intriguing name for teams looking for another backup in the latter stages of the draft. Who knows if he'll wind up following Wilson's career path, but as they say, all it takes is one team to fall in love with you.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.