Don't Forget About Rookie TE Nick Boyle


While second-round rookie tight end Maxx Williams has gotten the love from Ravens fans, fifth-round rookie tight end Nick Boyle has flown under the radar.

That's fine with Boyle. Catching passes, piling up stats and getting the attention isn't what most appeals to him.

"I guess you could say I'm a retro kind of tight end," he said.  "If I can block somebody and put them to the ground, I feel better about myself than catching a pass I'm supposed to because I'm open."

Boyle is 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. He's the same height as Williams, but 20 pounds heavier.

The two complement each other well. While Williams compared his game to Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, Boyle models himself after the Steelers' Heath Miller.

Williams caught 36 passes for 569 yards and eight touchdowns before leaving school after his sophomore year. Boyle hauled in 37 passes for 304 yards and four scores.

"They brought me in here for a reason and they brought Maxx in here for a reason," Boyle said. "I'm a block first, catch passes second kind of tight end."

Boyle showed during Wednesday's Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that just because receiving isn't his primary talent, he can still get the job done.

While not quite as fleet of foot as Williams, Boyle still got open for a long gain on an out pattern to the sideline, then found a soft spot in zone coverage for a red-zone touchdown. He was targeted more than Williams during 11-on-11 drills.

It was particularly notable considering Boyle's start was a bit delayed. He attended rookie minicamp, but missed weeks of football school when players hit the classroom and did some field work without pads or helmets because of the tri-semester scheduling at the University of Delaware. The NFL requires that rookies wait until the school year ends to begin their new jobs.

That hasn't slowed Boyle down, however. He said he kept up with all the drills being done at the Under Armour Performance Center via his iPad, and did the same work back on campus.

"I really don't feel like I'm behind," Boyle said. "I feel like I'm caught up right now with all the plays. It's been a smooth transition."

Boyle has been watching another block-first tight end, sophomore Crockett Gillmore. The rookie said the more he sees of Gillmore, the more he thinks that's who he could model himself after. Gillmore also came to the rookies with a block-first attitude, and now could be the starter.

With veteran Dennis Pitta's health status uncertain, the Ravens have undergone a youth overhaul at tight end. It's similar to what they did in 2010, when they drafted Ed Dickson in the third round and Pitta in the fourth. Pitta ended up getting the long-term extension while Dickson is now in Carolina.

"No matter if I'm a first rounder or a fifth rounder, I think I was brought in here to do the same thing," Boyle said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content