Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Washington’s Spring Standouts – Denzel Boston

Denzel Boston Washington

What Washington has at wide receiver may draw some attention this Fall. The team had three NFL Draft picks last month, but Jedd Fisch looks to have good hands on the outside for 2024. One of the players who stood out this Spring at Washington was wide receiver Denzel Boston. The third-year sophomore played in eight games last season, registering only five catches for 51 yards. But what he showed in the month of April indicates that he’s ready to step into the wide receiver 1 position for the Huskies this fall.

Elevating to the Football

When you look at Boston, you immediately observe his size and length. The South Hill, Washington native teeters at 6’-4” and is listed at 207 pounds. One of the things that stands out about his receiving ability is how he utilizes his length and strong hands. Boston was a favorite target of quarterback Will Rogers III during the 11-on-11 sessions at Spring practice. And one of the route patterns we saw a lot from him was the vertical route.

This vertical release came in the form of end zone fades and sideline patterns. It put Boston in one-on-one situations with the cornerback where he was able to go to one of his strengths – elevating above the defender to make the catch. He’s consistent with the timing of his jump and can pull the football out of the air with strength. Upon the catch, Boston keeps the football high, above the defender, as he returns to the turf. This technique is a difference-maker in preventing pass-breakups in these jump-ball situations. 

Denzel Boston’s Catch Radius

Another characteristic of Boston at receiver is his catch radius. His long arms allow him to stretch the field in both directions and adjust to the throw in each. He adjusts to the football in stride and does so while keeping his body in a position of leverage against the defender. This allows Boston to give himself the best chance of making the play even when the football is off-target or the defender is in a better position.

This Spring, we saw Boston go over the middle and make tough catches in coverage on the run consistently. He also recorded a couple of head-turning one-handed grabs on vertical routes. One of which, he pulled in for a touchdown with his left hand while the defender was tangled in his right, draped in coverage. 

Matchup Battle and Physicality

At practice in April, Boston was often matched up with Ephesians Prysock on the outside. The Arizona transfer is also listed at 6’-4”. The battle between the two lengthy football players was not only entertaining to watch but also raised the quality of play on the outside. We observed several contested targets, physical battles to the football, and strong coverage in route running between the two all month. 

Boston said he loves the competition. “Personally, I love the battle,” Boston told us after practice this Spring. “That’s something now I can add to my game, going against him every single day.” It’s clear how the competition is making both of them better, and more physical. 

The Washington wide receiver also told us that he feels he’s improved his level of physicality as a route runner. Boston said that he feels he’s stepped up his ability to run through contact since last season. He has put on more weight and added muscle since the 2023 season. That physical change has made Boston a more difficult receiver to defend. It’s also allowed him to win a lot of those 50/50 battles for the football against the defender. Boston was a reliable target of Rogers and Demond Williams Jr. all Spring. His versatility and strength as a pass catcher will make him a go-to for this offense during the season this fall.

 

Denzel Boston Washington

Photo courtesy: Nick Lemkau; Last Word

Share:

More Posts

Send Us A Message