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Steelers All 90: Miles Boykin is the Voice of the WR Room



Steelers Miles Boykin

The Pittsburgh Steelers brought in Miles Boykin on a waiver claim last spring after the rival Baltimore Ravens decided to part ways with their former third-round draft choice. Boykin played sparingly as a wide receiver in 2022 as most of his production came on special teams.

While Boykin only recorded three targets and two receptions through 16 games, his veteran leadership and special teams skills were valuable enough for the Steelers to re-sign the Notre Dame product to a one-year extension in April. Those particular skills would be attractive for many NFL teams and Boykin confirmed there were other teams interested in him this offseason before he decided to re-sign with Pittsburgh.

“I felt like I had a good season last year,” Boykin said. “[So] I knew there was going to be interest from other teams. But at the end of the day, it was more so what I felt comfortable with, and I wanted to play here.”

Until the team signed Allen Robinson II this offseason, Boykin assumed the role of the voice of the wide receiver room. The younger receivers such as Cody White already look up to Boykin and are glad that he decided to come back for another season.

“I always call him ‘Lil Bro,’ but he’s not,” White said. “He’s definitely the big brother in the room. He’s definitely been a great guy. Ever since he came in last year, he’s been a great guy for the room, and we love having him.”

Being the “big brother” of the position group at only 26 years old made Boykin realize that he is in the middle part of his NFL career and guys like Robinson, who is only 29 years old, are “old” for the profession that they are in. With Boykin re-signed and Robinson onboard, the receivers will now have a couple of veteran voices to lean on this season.

“We called (Robinson) old, and he’s only 29. He’s an old man in the room, but I am middle-aged. And I definitely recognize that and what comes with it,” said Boykin.

Boykin enters 2023 with a head start to regain his role from a year ago which was a special team star but will face heavy competition for the team’s fourth and fifth wide receiver spots from guys such as Calvin Austin IIIGunner Olszewski, and Hakeem Butler.

Regardless, Boykin should find himself a roster spot on the Steelers for the upcoming season despite such a large number of competitors vying for his job.

13 • Miles Boykin, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
6-foot-4, 220 pounds, 26 years old, 5th Season

Acquired: The Steelers claimed Boykin off of waivers on April 19, 2022, after the Baltimore Ravens waived him the day prior.

Last SeasonThe Ravens waived Boykin in April of 2022 and the Steelers claimed him a day later. Boykin appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers in 2022 but was featured mainly on special teams as he played a career-high 207 special team snaps and 132 offensive snaps. He finished the 2022 season with two receptions for 11 yards and was targeted only three times.

Boykin caught his first pass as a Steeler in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills as he finished the game with one reception for 11 yards. His second catch came in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers but for zero yards.

Steelers Miles Boykin

Steelers wide receiver Miles Boykin (13) warms up prior to a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium.

CareerThe Ravens drafted Boykin with the 93rd overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft after a strong senior season at Notre Dame. As a rookie, Boykin appeared in all 16 games and recorded 11 starts at wide receiver. Boykin hauled in his first NFL touchdown in the Ravens’ season opener against the Miami Dolphins. In Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns, Boykin posted a season-high three receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. He set a season-high 55 yards in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks as he caught two passes. Boykin finished his rookie season with 13 receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2020, Boykin played in all 16 games again and recorded 13 starts as he enjoyed his best season as an NFL player. He finished the season with 32 targets, 19 receptions, 266 yards, and four receiving touchdowns. Boykin started the year quickly for the Ravens as he posted three receptions for 37 yards in Week 1 and four receptions for 38 yards in Week 2. After that, his production dipped a bit but recorded a season-high 43 receiving yards in the team’s regular-season finale.

After a career year, Boykin started the 2021 season on the Ravens’ injured reserve but was activated to the active roster a few weeks later. Boykin appeared in eight games in his third season and caught his only target of the year for six yards.

Year Team GP GS Targets Receptions Yards AVG TDs PFF Rating
2019 BAL 16 11 22 13 198 15.2 3 60.9
2020 BAL 16 13 32 19 266 14.0 4 62.5
2021 BAL 8 0 1 1 6 6.0 0 53.7
2022 PIT 16 1 3 2 11 5.5 0 63.1

CollegeBoykin committed to Notre Dame prior to the 2015 season and was one of ten scholarship players to play strictly on the scout team. Boykin did not appear in a game as a freshman in 2015.

In 2016, Boykin played in all 12 games for the Fighting Irish and finished the season with six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Boykin caught his first collegiate touchdown against Virginia Tech during his sophomore campaign.

As a junior in 2017, Boykin’s role began to increase as he appeared in all 12 games again and recorded his first career start. Boykin raised his stats in every category as a junior as he finished the year with 12 receptions for 253 yards and two touchdowns.

Boykin really took a step forward during his senior season at Notre Dame. He appeared in 13 games for the Fighting Irish and led the team in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns. He finished the 2018 season with 59 receptions for 872 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. Boykin ended his collegiate career with a bang as he won the Citrus Bowl MVP in his last game as a Notre Dame player.

In total, Boykin appeared in 37 games for the Fighting Irish and posted 67 receptions, 1,206 yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns.

Year GP Receptions Yards AVG TDs
2015 0 0 0 0.0 0
2016 12 6 81 13.5 1
2017 12 12 253 21.1 2
2018 13 59 872 14.8 8

Salary cap and future: After the Steelers claimed Boykin off of waivers from the Baltimore Ravens in April of 2022, his rookie contract expired following the season. The Steelers re-signed Boykin to a one-year deal this offseason.

He will cost $940,000 against the Steelers’ 2023 cap space but carries a base salary of $1.08 million. Since he is signed on a veteran minimum contract, the Steelers receive cap relief and would be able to cut him without incurring any dead money in 2023. Boykin is scheduled to become a free agent following the 2023 season.

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