Steelers: Breaking down the Brandon Boykin trade


The Steelers made headlines on Saturday evening with an unusual training camp trade. The team traded a conditional 2016 5th round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for cornerback Brandon Boykin.  What does the trade mean for the Steelers secondary?

Brandon Boykin was drafted in in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles out of the University of Georgia. In his three seasons with the Eagles he compiled seven interceptions and four forced fumbles.

The early reaction of the trade is pretty favorable.

The Eagles have apparently been shopping Boykin around the last few months as Around the NFL’s Kevin Patra believes the trade signifies the confidence they have in rookies Eric Rowe and JaCorey Shepherd. Boykin was the Eagles’ best cornerback in 2014 and rated No. 21 overall by Pro Football Focus. No Steelers cornerbacks rated that high last season.

The Steelers have been transitioning to a younger and faster defense for the past few seasons and got a whole lot younger this season with the retirement of Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu. This doesn’t necessarily mean the team has lost all faith in the abilities of William Gay and Cortez Allen.

The trade provides depth to a unit that badly needs it as well as a player capable of stepping in and starting considering second-round pick Senquez Golson is starting off training camp on the PUP list and hasn’t gotten any real work in yet.

The Steelers will have to make a roster move before Boykin can practice with the team in Latrobe. The roster move is most likely expected on Sunday.

For the Steelers, this trade reinforces the secondary depth chart with a young player who has experience and can start in the slot without having to give up a whole lot in exchange. On paper, it looks like a good move. I also kind of like the timing of this move; Boykin has plenty of time to get up to speed with the Steelers secondary as camp just opened last week.

What do you think of the Steelers trade for cornerback Brandon Boykin, Steeler Nation?

Next: Steelers Cameron Heyward: A name of his own

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