Scouting The Draft: Tre Boston, Safety, North Carolina

Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

We continue to take a look at some of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft in relation to the New York Jets.

Introduction

First of all my apologies for the delay in bringing you some more scouting reports. It's been a rather busy couple of weeks for myself which is why I'm just sitting down to write this from a scrappy heap of notes at 11:00pm. There were a couple of players I wanted to feature, and I know I have covered the safety position quite a lot this off-season but Tre Boston is a player that I'm starting to really like, as a whole the North Carolina defense wasn't great and that affected Tre. They simply didn't get enough pressure on the QB, and when a good QB has time in the pocket it doesn't matter how good your initial coverage was, you're likely going to find an open man.

Saying that, Tre still managed to put up some excellent numbers, and was voted a second team ALL-ACC player by the coaches. He started his career at North Carolina as a cornerback and was recruited for that position. However he was moved to strong safety after his Freshman season and he has played the last three seasons in that position. Although he is customed to being a strong safety in college, I have to believe his future lies with on the outside at free safety.

Measurables

Height: 6'1

Weight: 201lb's

Class: Senior

Projected 40: 4.45-4.6

Statistics

Year Tackles For A Loss Interceptions Passes Broken Up
2013 94 4.5 5 8
2012 86 1 4 6
2011 70 1.5 3 2
2010 32 1 1 4

Positives

  • Speed: If you look at the projected 40, he is probably one of the fastest safeties in the class. He has excellent speed and it doesn't take him very long to get up to full speed. Can run stride for stride with most college WR'ers with ease.
  • Range: It goes hand in hand with speed really, but he can cover the whole field, sideline to sideline. He covers a lot of ground in a hurry and was asked to cover the faster slot receivers and bigger more physical tight ends.
  • Ball Hawk: Interceptions tell the story, he is very good at locating the football in the air and making the break on the ball. His hands are good and his anticipation is fantastic. He reads the QB's eyes well and again, break on the ball is key.
  • Agility: One think I really underrated when looking at him last year was his agility. His change of direction ability, he turns very well and flips the hips without losing much speed or motion.
  • Has a good lean athletic frame. He's a player who will come up and contest balls in the air, he's not the tallest (He is officially listed at 6'1 but he looks much smaller to me), he's very competitive.
  • Leadership. Watch a Tarheels game and you'll see number 10 shouting and communicating to his defensive team-mates, you love that leadership and that usually develops in your last two years, which is why I always prefer seniors.
Negatives
  • Inconsistent Tackler: He is a very frustrating player, at times he will show you the perfect form for tackling, and at other times he just doesn't wrap up, he dips his head and misses a tackle he really shouldn't.
  • First Step: Some safeties I love due to their ability to take the first step in the right direction. Boston sometimes is hesitant, and against quicker receivers and quick release QB's his speed may not make up for that hesitation.
  • Bulk It Up: 205lb's? college profiles are notorious for exaggerating both height and weight, and he looks a shade below 200lb's to me. We'll see, but to play in this league, I want my safety at 200.
  • Angles, Angles, Angles: You all know I immediately drop a player if he takes bad angles. Boston sometimes is guilty of this. He'll play centre field well but then when he does need to cover ground, he'll take a poor angle to the football. He's not terrible in a way Taylor Mays was, but he needs to be more consistent.
Conclusion

I haven't seen many grade estimations on Boston but right now I would personally have him around the 5th round. I don't know if we are going to address this position early (finally), but if we don't then picking up a player who has a lot of positives like Boston in the 5th or 6th round isn't the worst idea in the World. I do like him, the poor angles worry me like they always do with a safety, but that's inconsistent. He doesn't always take them which is positive.

Would I Draft Him For The Jets?

5th/6th/7th round I'm more than happy to take a punt on him, he has a lot of talent and I imagine he will be a good player in year 2 or 3. He needs some coaching but every player outside the 1st round down. I'd be happy with him in the later rounds.

Highlights

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