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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

UNI alum Khristian Boyd drafted by Saints

Khristian Boyd became the latest Panther drafted in the NFL. Boyd was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 199th pick.

From the UNI-Dome to the Superdome, Northern Iowa defensive tackle Khristian Boyd saw his dreams come true on Saturday. The New Orleans selected him with the 199th pick in the 2024 NFL draft. 

“It feels amazing,” Boyd said in a post-draft interview. “I feel blessed about the opportunity.”

Boyd was a standout player for five seasons as a Panther. He is a native of Blue Springs, Missouri and enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa in 2018. He redshirted the same year and ended up playing in one game. 

He appeared in 10 games during the 2019 season, finishing with 25 tackles and two tackles for loss. During the teams 2020-2021 spring season, Boyd finished with  27 tackles, and 3.5 sacks. 

Boyd took a big leap in his fourth season with the Panthers in 2022, earning second-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference. He finished the season with 32 tackles, five tackles for loss, two pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. 

Boyd delivered another stellar season in 2023, earning first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference and third-team Associated Press FCS All-American. 

Boyd quickly became one of the most intriguing late round prospects in the draft. His stock rose after his performance at the East-West Shrine Bowl. Boyd had 16 top-30 visits with various NFL teams leading up to the draft. 

The Saints were Boyd’s second top-30 visit and they liked him enough to select him in the sixth round. “They stood out with the type of mentality and their coaching style,” said Boyd. “They were one of the teams that wanted to get with me right away right after the combine and they’ve always shown love.”

He joins a defensive-line room with multiple-time Pro-Bowler Cameron Jordan, who could end up being a great mentor for Boyd. The Saints already have some established defensive tackles on the roster, but if Boyd impresses like he did at the Shrine Bowl, it will be hard to keep him off the field. Being a rotational player is a likely possibility for year one with the ability to step in if a player goes down. 

Bleacher Report’s scouting department had this to say about Boyd: “Khristian Boyd is an intriguing FCS/small-school prospect. He has a stocky build with good weight and plenty of upper-body strength, as evidenced by his 38 bench press reps at Northern Iowa’s pro day. He can also be disruptive against the run and as a pass-rusher.”

Boyd becomes the seventh Northern Iowa player since 2015 to be drafted by an NFL team. He will join his former Panther teammate at Northern Iowa, Trevor Penning, who currently plays left tackle for the Saints and was selected in the first round by the team in 2022. Boyd will also join former Panthers Elijah Campbell (Dolphins), Daurice Fountain (Lions), Elerson Smith (Raiders), Spencer Brown (Bills), Benny Sapp lll (Packers) in the NFL. 

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MICHAEL SPAHN, Sports Writer

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