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Minnesota Football: NFL Draft Profile - DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun

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Breaking down the NFL Draft potential of one of the best playmakers from the Gopher defense the last two seasons.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Briean Boddy-Calhoun appears headed for the NFL after a career as a two-year starter and All-Big Ten cornerback for the Golden Gophers. Boddy-Calhoun, along with fellow graduating senior cornerback Eric Murray, is expected to join Brock Vereen and Cedric Thompson as former Gopher defensive backs from the Jerry Kill era to be drafted to the NFL. As I mentioned in the profile for Murray, if Boddy-Calhoun or Murray are drafted, it will mark the third consecutive year that a Gopher defensive back has been selected, which has not happened since 1971-73.

Combine Results

EVENT RESULT CB RANK NOTES
Height 5'9" --- ---
Weight 193 lbs --- ---
40-Yard Dash 4.47 sec T-12th 32 Participants
Bench Press 10 reps T-25th 29 Participants
Vertical Jump 35 inches T-21st 31 Participants
Broad Jump 124 inches T-7th 30 Participants
3-Cone Drill 7.16 sec 18th 22 Participants
20-Yard Shuttle 4.22 sec 20th 24 Participants
60-Yard Shuttle 11.69 sec 12th 13 Participants

Film

Below is the video that the athletic department produced for Boddy-Calhoun with highlights from last season. Whereas Eric Murray, the other half of the Gophers' All-Big Ten cornerback duo, is quiet and understated, Boddy-Calhoun has been a vocal leader for the Gopher defense, and has shown a knack for finding the football. He had 10 career interceptions as a Gopher, including two that he returned for touchdowns, with two forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles. Unlike his counterpart Murray, there is no questioning the ball skills of this cornerback.

Strengths

  • He is dangerous when the ball is in the air. As I've mentioned already, there is no denying his ball skills. Boddy-Calhoun has been a turnover machine for the Gophers these last two seasons. And I'm not just talking about interceptions. He fights for the ball even after the wideout has made the catch.
  • Boddy-Calhoun is not going to win over critics with his athleticism, but his football I.Q. has allowed him to compensate for a lack of size and speed. His ability to diagnose plays quickly enables him to be in a position to make a play. His pick six against Wisconsin last season is a perfect example.
  • Boddy-Calhoun has an impressive knack for recognizing routes -- and even running them better than the wideout. He is adept at reading both the quarterback and the receiver to know when the ball is coming. Hence his 10 career interceptions.
  • He is also a leader on the field. Boddy-Calhoun has been a vocal captain of the Gopher defense, and has functioned as somewhat of a field general in the secondary, getting the defensive backfield in position.

Weaknesses

  • Size. Critics have doubts about Murray due to his size, and Boddy-Calhoun is even more undersized than his fellow Gopher cornerback. His future in the NFL will likely be limited to playing the slot corner, and that lack of versatility will ultimately hurt his draft stock.
  • The Boddy-Calhoun we saw in 2015 was not the same Boddy-Calhoun we saw in 2014, and more than a few scouts noticed. Although he was hampered with a knee injury for much of the season, Boddy-Calhoun struggled in coverage at times, allowing far too much separation. Alone, he allowed six touchdowns on the season, which is far from ideal for a senior starting cornerback.
  • Boddy-Calhoun does not share Murray's reputation as a sure tackler. His tendency to overpursue and take poor angles has made him more of a liability than a strength in run support and as an open field tackler.
  • Boddy-Calhoun did not have a strong showing at the NFL Combine. His lack of top end speed and strength cast doubts on his ability to compete at the next level.

Potential Teams

Houston Texans

Boddy-Calhoun, along with Murray and Gopher linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, had a private workout with the Texans. Cornerback is not a position of need for Bill O'Brien, but Boddy-Calhoun could be a developmental prospect to bolster their defensive backfield for the future.

New England Patriots

The Patriots staff was very active at the Gophers' Pro Day, and have met privately with Boddy-Calhoun, Murray, and Campbell. Like with the Texans, I'd expect Boddy-Calhoun to be a late round addition, or an undrafted free agent signing, as a developmental prospect that could help their defensive back corps.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have always taken a closer look than most teams when it comes to Gopher draft prospects, and this year has been no different, with the Minnesota staff holding private workouts with Boddy-Calhoun and others.

Outlook

Boddy-Calhoun is a diamond in the rough. If he is not drafted, I have no doubt he'll end up signing as an undrafted free agent. He doesn't have the top level athleticism that leaves NFL scouts drooling, but his intelligence, work ethic, and leadership are a recipe for a special teams standout or a developmental cornerback prospect.

Projection: 7th Round or Undrafted Free Agent