Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Safety First, Third-Round Pick Vows

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Safety First, Third-Round Pick Vows

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

He was the unquestioned leader on a leaky Penn State defense. And only moments after the Jaguars drafted him near the end of the third round, James Boyd was dripping with something else: opinions steamy enough to fog up Joe Paterno's glasses.

"That's just the way I was raised," Boyd said. "If you got something to say, say it. Don't be scared, but don't disrespect anybody."

Sounds good in theory, but sometimes the 5-foot-11 free safety can't help taking his freedom of speech rights to a level as hard-hitting as some of his tackles.

Yesterday, Boyd refused to back off his statements Saturday night that he was personally insulted over seeing six other safeties -- including converted linebacker Adam Archuleta and Florida State's Derrick Gibson -- taken before he went to the Jaguars with the No. 94 overall pick.

Some players have a little chip on their shoulder about what scouts think or where they might be positioned on a draft board. Boyd's chip is roughly about the size of western Pennsylvania.

"I feel I am the most complete safety in the draft," Boyd said. "Adam Archuleta had all those workouts, but he's never played safety before. They were all stuck on his size, but he doesn't make plays. Watch him."

Boyd was just getting warmed up. He said it was a "slap in the face" that Alabama safety Tony Dixon went ahead of him and that NFL scouts were too enamored with Gibson's size (6-1, 215 pounds) in explaining his first-round selection.

"I honestly know that [Gibson] is not better than me," Boyd said.

Who knows what he'll say the first time someone asks him to weigh in on Marcus Stroud vs. Kenyatta Walker? It's not that Boyd is looking to make inflammatory comments to get attention. It's just that political correctness is not his game. …

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