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When the Lions released starting safety Louis Delmas, they lost more than a quality defender. They lost a vocal leadership presence, both on and off the field.
While North Carolina's Tre Boston isn't as instinctive as Delmas, he's got the vociferousness down pat. From my Shrine Game practice notes at Detroit Lions Draft:
North Carolina safety Tre Boston wins Mr. Congeniality. He’s always got a smile on his face and is always making noise. Sometimes (see Sean Weatherspoon or Cam Thomas) that drives teammates nuts but Boston’s act is well-received. Oh yeah, he can ball too. He showed great burst in breaking up a pass to Gallon, reaching around the Michigan wideout to break up the pass.
His game film consistently shows a lifelong cornerback trying to learn to play safety, which is precisely what Boston is. He boasts well-developed cover, including the ability to line up over a flexed-out tight end and run with him down the seam.
His profile on CBS perfectly summarizes why the Lions should take a late-round interest in Boston:
He's still very raw in terms of his instincts in coverage, and could probably use a couple of years sitting behind experienced safeties at the next level, but his ceiling is certainly high enough to merit a draft selection, and he has the potential to be a regular down the line.
That's exactly the situation Boston would enter in Detroit. Glover Quin and James Ihedigbo are set as the starters in 2014, but in the long term Ihedigbo is probably best served playing as the third safety.
Get Boston a year of experience under his belt and he could take over in 2015.