Every year it seems as though a player emerges from the scrap heap of under-reported Free Agent signings by the Panthers. Last year Andrew Norwell and Mike Remmers were two signings at different points in time that garnered a collective-yawn from the national and even local media. The year before it was Mike Mitchell and Ted Ginn, Jr. One signing this off-season that jumps out at me as having that type of impact--Jarrett Boykin.
Meet Jarrett Boykin
Jarrett will be joining the C3 Crew on our weekly podcast this week and you can get to know more about him then too. Panther Nation has been wanting to hear from him.
Originally from from Chattanooga TN., Jarrett moved to Charlotte and starred at Butler High School. So he is a Charlottean and it a nice story to have him return home. He went undrafted after being the all-time leading receptions leader for Virginia Tech. In 2012 and signed with Jacksonville. Perhaps a blessing, he did not make the Jacksonville Jaguars roster and went on to make the Green Bay Packers roster that year.
Opportunity knocked in 2013. Greg Jennings left for Minnesota and Randall Cobb was injured. He took advantage of that opportunity by racking up 648 yards. That is more than any Carolina Panther WR last year not named Kelvin Benjamin. He showed that he has very reliable hands to go along with dependable route-running capabilities. He also has very solid size at 6’2/212 lbs.
Who He Reminds Me Of:
The Panthers once also had a 6’2 WR that wasn’t overly fast but also played on every Special Teams unit. In fact, this Panther was a Special Teams Ace and Captain. He only caught 20 balls for the Panthers but he made his presence felt every game on Special Teams. In fact, Karl Hankton is still the Panthers all-time leading special teams’ tackler with 62.
I think Boykin is a better WR than Hankton but I project him to have a similar role. WR depth and a key role on Special Teams. And like 2013, should he get an opportunity at WR he very well could step up to that challenge.
Will He Make The 53 Man Roster?
C3 Writer Grant Hughes wrote earlier this week that he sees the Panthers keeping six WR’s this season and Boykin being one of them. I think Boykin makes the team as well and the biggest reason why is his ability to contribute on Special Teams. Packers Special Teams Coach Shawn Slocum said, "Jarrett's on all four (core) teams. He's solid in coverage. He's been very dependable in his role.” That is why he will make the roster and earn an extension for years to come as the next Karl Hankton. Which is needed badly.
By Mel Mayock aka @PanthersDrafter