An ideal Tajh Boyd draft plan

Tajh Boyd's Clemson career ended well with an Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Tajh Boyd has the first part of next week scripted. Clemson's best-ever quarterback will fly to New York City for a pre-NFL Draft party.

Then return to South Carolina to relax.

"I might go out on a boat," Boyd said. "I might go golfing. It can become a stressful time if you let it."

He will watch the draft in Clemson with family and friends. That's where the script gets fuzzy. Boyd said he expects a phone call no later than the end of the third round, though others think the fourth or fifth round is more likely.

"If I was a GM, honestly, I'd probably take me like the fifth quarterback (drafted), or somewhere in that range," Boyd said during his weekend visit to Charleston, where he signed autographs at The Fan Zone and threw out a ceremonial first pitch at a Charleston RiverDogs game.

Boyd has a general version of his ideal NFL draft landing spot.

"It would probably be a location where it's either a veteran there who has been playing for a while but is kind of on the fringe of leaving," Boyd said. "Or just going to a team with an opportunity to play pretty early on."

This is where we slightly disagree.

My best-case career longevity scenario for Boyd starts with erring on the side of extra seasons spent learning how to transition from throwing to splendidly isolated receivers such as Sammy Watkins to making complex progressive reads involving multiple options.

Even if that means holding clipboards for quite a while.

Also, systems and coordinators are critical for a young NFL quarterback.

The best fits:

A good team with a capable quarterback that isn't necessarily a long-term fix, somewhere Boyd might be able to start in two years. The Bengals (Andy Dalton), Cowboys (Tony Romo), Chiefs (Alex Smith) and Eagles (Nick Foles) come to mind.

A team with a Pro Bowl-caliber starter, a place where Boyd can watch and learn - and maybe move on to another team as a well-equipped free agent. Perhaps the Falcons (Matt Ryan), Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Lions (Matthew Stafford) or Giants (Eli Manning).

Learn from the best: Peyton Manning (Broncos), Tom Brady (Patriots) or Drew Brees (Saints) tutoring as part of a long-range development plan, hopefully not including trying to fill those big shoes.

Boyd liked the theory, to a point.

"You have to be put in the right situation," he said. "It's like when you pick your college; you want to play as early as you possibly can. But if you play early and things don't work your way, it can hurt you mentally to the point where you can't recover from it."

Boyd brought up Hall of Famer Steve Young, who waited behind Joe Montana after coming to the San Francisco 49ers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the USFL.'

"He didn't play for a long time but when he got his opportunity, he took advantage of it," Boyd said. "Same with Josh McCown with the Bears last year. He took advantage of his opportunity (when Jay Cutler was injured)."

Boyd thinks he's ideally suited to fill a team's need for the modern hybrid quarterback.

"Obviously, you have your traditional guys," he said. "But at the same time, you see the league kind of converting a little bit. Those guys are able to move around in the pocket. Those guys are able to run. I think I can bring that to the table as well as being a good leader."

There are worse NFL longevity paths than that of Charlie Whitehurst, the former Clemson quarterback recently signed by the Tennessee Titans. Whitehurst, 31, has been in the NFL since the San Diego Chargers took him in the third round of the 2006 draft.

Boyd wants to see more action than Whitehurst, who has appeared in just 13 regular-season games.

You wouldn't want any less eagerness from a projected NFL quarterback embarking on a new career.

"In any case, in any scenario," Boyd said, "I'm looking forward to it."

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff