Khristian Boyd’s Draft Profile | Northern Iowa, DT Scouting Report

With his scouting report, Northern Iowa DT Khristian Boyd could end up being one of the first FCS prospects selected in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Northern Iowa DT Khristian Boyd could be one of the first FCS prospects to be selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. What does his scouting report say about his NFL projection, and where does he fit best at the professional level?

Khristian Boyd’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’2 3/8″
  • Weight: 329 pounds
  • Length: 31 7/8″
  • Wingspan: 77 1/8″
  • Hand: 9 5/8″
  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Northern Iowa
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

When he’s done playing football, Boyd aspires to be a coach. But that career on the sidelines will have to wait — because the better part of 32 teams are interested in the impact Boyd can make for them on the defensive front.

Boyd wasn’t always this well-known. Coming out of high school, he did have an offer from Kansas to play at the FBS level, but that scholarship was lost when coaching changes occurred. Opportunities were few and far between, but soon after he chose Northern Iowa, Boyd felt like he was home.

Boyd redshirted in 2018, but from 2019 onward, he was a fixture in the Panthers’ defensive-line rotation. And by 2023, he was a defensive star. In his final four seasons, Boyd amassed 122 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries.

By the end of his Panthers career, Boyd was already a known commodity in scouting circles. But a dominant Shrine Bowl showing fueled talk of early-round potential. And now, teams may have to move up the board to get him.

Boyd’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a dense, squatty, and compact frame with excellent mass and density.
  • Gets off the line with an explosive first step and has great initial acceleration capacity.
  • Flashes the lateral explosiveness to cover large swaths of ground, engaging tackles.
  • Shows glimpses of impressive twitch and energy for his size on pass-rushing reps.
  • Has the elite core strength to one-gap zone blocks and establish half-man relationships.
  • Can two-gap against interior power blockers and force runners to bounce outside.
  • Able to violently stack and shed in the run game with his suffocating grip strength.
  • Has the mass and lower-body strength to eat double teams and combo blocks.
  • Can use his natural leverage and lower-body mass to minimize displacement at the line.
  • Explosiveness and frame density amount to impressive raw power in the passing game.
  • Can plow linemen off their spot with initial power, then stack inside arm-over counters.
  • Can channel his rotational freedom and torque through long-arms and hump moves.
  • Flashes the ability to stack swipes and cross-chops while stressing angles across gaps.
  • Has a hot motor in pursuit between the hashes and will fight to traverse gaps.
  • Has the versatility to line up from 0-tech to 3-tech, inheriting schematic flexibility.

Weaknesses

  • Has below average length for the position, which can detract from his power capacity.
  • Relatively stiff lateral mover who, past cylindrical twitch, lacks great movement freedom.
  • Somewhat lumbering athlete past initial explosion whose pace falters through reps.
  • Lumbering short-area mobility can impact recovery capacity against opposing power.
  • At times over-extends off the line to compensate for reach, putting his balance at risk.
  • Despite natural leverage, sometimes diverts too far upright at contact, nullifying base.
  • Can get beaten to the punch by longer linemen and lose his balance as a result.
  • Sometimes sells out for specific gaps too soon, opening cutback lanes for runners.
  • On occasion, widens his base too much on the attack, causing power load to dissipate.
  • Can be uncontrolled with his leg churn and attack footwork, drifting too far upfield.
  • Sometimes veers past optimal landmarks on the rush, losing opportunities to counter.
  • At times, can be late to stack hand counters when decoupling anchors in the run game.
  • Sometimes lacks a defined pass-rush plan and can improve his hand efficiency.
  • Naturally with his denser frame, lacks high-end ankle flexion and torso flexibility.
  • Will be a 24-year-old rookie at the start of the 2024 season.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Boyd grades out as an early Day 3 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He could garner consideration in the mid-to-late Day 2 range because of his utility as a nose tackle at 0-tech and 1-tech, but his best value range would be early-to-mid Day 3.

Boyd was a productive multi-year defender at Northern Iowa, who then compounded the excitement regarding his profile after an exceptional Shrine Bowl showing. Then, at his pro day, he cranked out 38 bench reps — an indirect representation of his elite play strength on the field.

KEEP READING: Top DTs in the 2024 NFL Draft

At 6’2 3/8″ and 329 pounds, Boyd is a massive defensive tackle who packs all of his mass into an incredibly compact, well-leveraged frame. With his lower body strength, he can absorb double-teams and combo blocks, and he also has immense explosive capacity as a pass rusher.

Teams will first look Boyd’s way because of the nose-capable physical profile, but he brings even more beyond that. He’s a hot-motor defender who comes off the line with a lot of heat. He can use his prying strength and torque to make plays in both phases — gapping, stacking, and shedding in run defense, and stacking counters as a pass-rusher.

Right now, consistency is what Boyd needs to keep harping on. He can be uncontrolled and uncoordinated past initial moves, and he doesn’t have the high-end lateral agility or flexibility to supplement recovery in those situations. Additionally, his middling flexibility sometimes prevents him from finishing through gaps on the rush.

Even so, Boyd is a unique prospect in that he has the desired tools to encumber blocks and magnetize to double-teams as a nose tackle, freeing up teammates — and he also has the pass-rushing juice to rush as far outside as 3-tech and push the pocket. Right away, he’s a quality rotational DT, and he can be a quality starter at his peak.

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