Drafted in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts last April, John Boyett was placed on the team’s “non-football injury list” on July 23. The move allows Boyett to train and rehab after knee surgery last fall without taking up a spot on the 53-man roster. It shows the team is taking a long-term interest in him, at least by NFL standards, and wants him to be healthy before making a decision about his potential as a pro safety.
Putting one foot in front of the other: John Boyett takes the field during Colts rookie camp in May. Indianapolis drafted him knowing he might not be ready for training camp after surgery to repair two torn tendons in his knees last fall. (Michael Hickey, Getty Images photo).
The 5-10, 203-lb. former Duck totaled 278 tackles and 10 interceptions in an Oregon career that included a career-high 17 tackles in the 2012 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. He was named a 2nd team All-American by si.com in 2010-11, named to the Lott and Jim Thorpe Watch List his junior year. Torn patellar tendons in both knees limited him to one game in 2012.
Colt Head Coach Chuck Pagano told the website coltsauthority.com, “I’ll tell you what, you watch this guy play, he’s a buzz saw. He’s a downhill guy. He loves to play. He loves special teams. He’s a guy that, again, we grabbed him at the combine just by chance. He was standing there, we grabbed him and pulled him in. We didn’t have him for a formal, we had a few minutes in between, and this guy just blew us away in about a two-minute interview. You could tell that this guy was very, very passionate about playing this sport, playing football, and what he could bring to the table. So I feel good about John (Boyett).”
Knowing that Boyett has such a hunger for football that he would play hurt, the Colts are taking it slowly with the former Webfoot star, viewing him as a low-risk gamble that could pay big dividends.
Boyett was unable to participate in drills at the NFL Combine, but he did compete in the bench press, lifting 225 lbs. 27 times, second overall among safeties. At a Pro Day held at Napa Memorial Stadium in early April he worked out for 8 NFL teams. He caught footballs, moved well and ran a 4.57 40. That, the interview and his college game film were enough to convince Pagano and the Indianapolis front office to take a flier on him.