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QB Boyd, WR Watkins headline Clemson's pro day

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm •  Published: March 6, 2014
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Quarterback Tajh Boyd had a strong showing at Clemson's pro day Thursday and felt he erased some of the doubts about his skills that have cropped up since the season ended.

Boyd, consensus top-10 pick Sammy Watkins and 6-foot-5 receiver Martavis Bryant were among the ex-Tigers who auditioned for some 60 NFL personnel, including New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and recently hired Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell.

Watkins was as smooth as expected catching the ball while Boyd looked like his record-setting college self in about 20 minutes of throwing.

"I feel like I answered a lot of questions today," Boyd said. "I'm looking forward to see how everything plays out."

Boyd had thrown for nearly 12,000 yards and an Atlantic Coast Conference record 107 touchdowns his four years with the Tigers. He entered last season as the face of the program, a Heisman Trophy contender and likely first-round draft choice. But Boyd's stock started sliding after Clemson's 51-14 loss to national champion Florida State at Death Valley in October.

Boyd took another hit in January when he was just 7 of 16 for 31 yards and an interception and the Senior Bowl.

This time, Boyd took full advantage of the home field and familiar receivers he's worked with for years in Watkins, Bryant, ex-Clemson tight end Brandon Ford and last year's 1,000-yard rusher for the Tigers, Rod McDowell.

Boyd was on target on short routes, middle routes and long routes as dozens of NFL scouts took notes on his style.

"I wanted the guys to see he could make those throws and he put in on the money every time," said Ken Mastrole, the former Maryland quarterback who tutored Boyd the past few months.

St. Louis general manager Les Snead was impressed with Boyd's latest workout.

"Compared with the combine, you knew he knew these receivers," Snead said. "I don't think the ball hit the ground once."

Boyd said throwing in Clemson's indoor facility made him more comfortable than in Indianapolis last month. "There are obviously reasons why things happened" at the Senior Bowl and the combine, he said. "The scouts told me this was a great workout, so I'm just going to keep pushing."

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