The Carolina Panthers owned one of the league’s best defensive units in 2013, yet had questionable safety play, to say the least, for the majority of the season. The team decided to sign former Atlanta Falcon Thomas DeCoud and former New Orleans Saint Roman Harper to fill that void, but rookie SS Tre Boston may push for an immediate role during his rookie season.
Boston, a former University of North Carolina Tarheel, has great size for a strong safety at the next level, coming in at 6-foot and weighing roughly 204 pounds. When you watch Boston on tape, you see his great motor, ball skills, and relentless aggression on display for the entire game.
Boston is an absolute thumper from the safety position and is willing to use his body to punish defenders coming across the middle. He plays with downhill aggression and has great vision for a box style safety. Boston has experience playing both safety and corner, but safety is the likeliest destination during his professional career.
Boston has average instincts and will be limited to a box safety type role. Due to his lack of deep speed, he has limited range and tends to play with tight hips and average anticipation skills. He needs to improve his diagnostics of offensive plays and schemes, and needs to become a much more sound tackler, especially in space.
Boston will compete with fellow strong safeties in Robert Lester and Harper for playing time this season. Boston’s inefficiencies may lead to a back-up role, but his presence will be felt in a special teams role as a gunner or a hit man on coverage units.