GREEN BAY – The irony is not lost on Jarrett Boykin. Here he is, in line for meaningful playing time Sunday, and who will be lined up against the Green Bay Packers rookie wide receiver?
The Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that saw enough from him in three days to decide he wasn’t a keeper.
“We were talking about that earlier – it is kind of funny the way it happened. But everything happens for a reason, and the way it all fell into place, there’s no better week than this week to go out there and just try to prove something,” Boykin said Friday. “I would say there’s a little extra. But that’s not really my main focus, trying to prove (something) to them. (It’s about) going out there and playing well and helping this team win.”
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Boykin signed with the Jaguars after going undrafted out of Virginia Tech this spring, but after attending Jacksonville’s post-draft rookie camp, the team cut him loose. The Packers, whose post-draft rookie orientation camp was a week later than normal, brought him in for a look-see as a tryout guy and wound up offering him a contract.
By the end of training camp, the Hokies’ all-time receiving leader had earned a spot on the 53-man roster as the team’s No. 6 receiver – no small feat, considering the depth at the position – after leading the Packers in receptions and receiving yardage in preseason (13 receptions for 166 yards).
“There’s quite a few things with Boykin that you really like. Obviously, you love his size. Before you even get to that, you love his attitude, you love his work ethic, you love the passion that he brings day in and day out. It matters to him,” wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett said. “You like to see young kids that play the game the right way. In the classroom, out on the practice field, it matters. Every opportunity matters. That will be my starting point.
“After that, obviously, it’s the size and his physicality. He has good strength, he has strong hands, big hands. The ability to adjust to the football, pluck the ball, high-point the ball. He does a number of different things.”
Near the end of training camp, Boykin retold his experience of getting cut by the Jaguars, but on Friday, he was focused on the future, not the past. With Greg Jennings (sports hernia) out and Jordy Nelson (hamstring) questionable, the Packers’ wide receivers will be Randall Cobb, James Jones, Donald Driver and Boykin, who’s played just 15 offensive snaps this season.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to go out there and just showcase what I can do. I’m ready to take over wherever I left off (at the end of training camp) and just go out there and try to make some plays,” he said. “It’s what you want. If you know you’re going to get a lot more snaps and a lot more opportunities, you’re definitely focused more on going out there and making plays. But each week I’m still going out there like it’s my time to play, whether it was then or now.”
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