Throughout the process leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft, there was very clear, legitimate interest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and then-Notre Dame star receiver Miles Boykin.
In typical AFC North fashion though, the Baltimore Ravens swooped in to grab the Notre Dame product away from the Steelers, adding a big, physical speed threat on the outside that they hoped could pair with star quarterback Lamar Jackson to make the Ravens’ offense dynamic.
That didn’t quite happen in Boykin’s career in Baltimore, as he recorded just 33 receptions for 470 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons before being cut, eventually landing with the Steelers in the end.
Now, working through his first OTAs with the Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side, Boykin — who was claimed off waivers by the Steelers on April 19 — talked with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko about how he “hated” the Steelers’ franchise after landing with the Ravens, and how he knew his release from Baltimore was coming.
“It was crazy because I thought the Steelers were going to draft me originally,” Boykin said Thursday, according to the Post-Gazette. “But when I got to Baltimore, it was like, ‘No, I hate Pittsburgh.’”
The Steelers showed significant interest with Boykin ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, attending Notre Dame’s Pro Day as Kevin Colbert, Dan Rooney Jr., Phil Kreidler, and Teryl Austin all attended the Fighting Irish’s workout. The Steelers also had Boykin in for a pre-draft visit, and met extensively with him at that year’s Combine.
All that work just to see him land in Baltimore.
Of course, all that work wasn’t for naught, as the Ravens ultimately cut Boykin, allowing the Steelers to place a claim on a guy who they had plenty of background on. Now, with a second chance in the NFL, Boykin is looking to stick in an organization that has a relatively strong track record at developing wide receivers overall.
Plus, he gets to reunite with former college teammate Chase Claypool.
“Just go out there and try to be a difference maker, whether it’s special teams or receiver,” Boykin said the Steelers told him to do after claiming him. “I’m just excited to get out there and get a chance to be a playmaker here.”
Following an offseason in which the wide receiver room saw a ton of change overall with the losses of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud, the opportunity is there for Boykin to stick around awhile in Pittsburgh.