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Packers G.M. Ted Thompson Reportedly Makes Contact with Safety Prospect Tre Boston

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Packers G.M. Ted Thompson Reportedly Makes Contact with Safety Prospect Tre Boston

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who's in attendance at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. this week scouting NFL prospects in the college all-star game circuit, was reported to have had an informal interview with North Carolina safety Tre Boston, according to Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com.

Let's get our annual disclaimer out of the way, simply interviewing or talking with a player doesn't necessarily mean anything. By the end of the NFL draft process, Thompson and his staff will have spoken to nearly every draftable prospect in the nation.

It's the job of NFL scouts and personnel evaluators to interview players, some more than others, some in a formal job-interview type of environment, some  in an informal get-to-know-you type of way.

That being said, this serves as a good opportunity as any to take a look at Boston and need the Packers have at the safety position.

Obviously, safety is one of the Packers' top needs heading into the offseason after getting subpar play from starters Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings during the 2013 season and adding depth at the position being a priority as well.

Despite a poor campaign from Burnett, his recent five-year, multi-million dollar contract extension makes him entrenched at the position for at least one more season and likely more.

It's up to the Packers to find Burnett a running mate to pair next to him on the football field. And there's reason to believe that by elevating the level of talent around Burnett, his play will likewise rise.

Some have advocated for the Packers to look for help at the safety position in free agency, such as making a run at high-profile players like Jarius Byrd or T.J. Ward.

But barring any significant additions in free agency, the Packers will be looking for help in the draft, and Boston is a logical target.

While the elite players in the college all-star games will appear at the Senior Bowl next week, Boston might be one of those underrated types of players flying under the radar, in essence representing the reason Thompson is doing his due diligence at the very least.

Boston meets the minimum measurables for a safety coming out of college, reportedly checking in at 5' 11 5/8" and 198 lbs. at the Shrine Game, although significantly smaller than the 6-1, 205 lbs. published by North Carolina.

But it's Boston's consistent production over the course of four years with the Tar Heels that sticks out, making 282 career tackles, eight for a loss, grabbing 13 interceptions, breaking up 20 passes and forcing three fumbles.

To Boston's credit, he seemed to make progress every year in college, culminating in a successful senior season in which he was named second-team All-ACC by both the coaches and the media, making 94 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, five interceptions and breaking up eight passes.

NFLDraftScout.com, the gold standard among media outlets covering the NFL draft, suggests Boston is likely to be a seventh round or undrafted type of prospect, but I personally think his stock is much higher. In my opinion, Boston is a potential mid-round draft choice with perhaps a chance to be drafted as early as late Day 2 (late third round).

Obviously, Boston's performance in measured drills at the NFL Combine and his on-campus pro day performance will go a long way towards determining where he gets selected in the draft. A slow 40 time or three-cone drill could drop his stock overnight significantly.

But the connection between Thompson and Boston in St. Petersburg this week is an interesting one, if for no other reason than the need the Packers have the position.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

denniseckersley's picture

WE WANT HA HA

mark's picture

I WANT PRYOR

lmills's picture

Pryor is much more physical than Ha Ha. I'll take Pryor also.

WKUPackFan's picture

Watched U of L a lot this year. Pryor can flat out hit people. Good ball skills also. Not sure how he is speed wise.

Phatgzus's picture

Buchanan's no slouch either.

Phatgzus's picture

Clinton-Dix, while highly intuitive with great coverage skills and hands, is bad to average in the run game and doesn't finish plays or fly to the ball carrier.

Stroh's picture

Where did you read that? CBS says basically the exact opposite.

"Clinton-Dix anticipates the run well, attacking the line of scrimmage to make some impressive stops up close."

Maybe you shouldn't make things up or read a better source.

Phatgzus's picture

I watched half of Alabama's games and all available video footage-I should have been more specific. He's decent to good at getting in position in the run game but right now he is a poor tackler who either aims high or doesn't wrap up low.

And CBS Sports? C'mon, STROH, there are at least a dozen draft sites better than CBS Sports.

Arlo's picture

TT loves those late round draft picks. CBS has this dude pegged at the 6th - 7th round. Odds of finding a keeper that late in the draft are slim. TT needs to change his draft strategy. He needs to get the mindset that he's drafting in 2014 for his job.

4thand1's picture

Maybe he should just pick 1 through 4. Would that make you happy d-bag.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

This is the guy. 5'10 180, late round, cheap. Fit right in with all our other smallish undersized guys. I wager to bet he had some minor injury issues too that will keep his value down. So much for change and improvement.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Yeah, because guys with injury issues make 282 tackles. SMH.

The TKstinator's picture

Tell me who all these smallish guys are.

WKUPackFan's picture

How did Mr. Boston shrink from his 5' 11 5/8" check in height to Albert's 5'10" so quickly?

4thand1's picture

carrying bails of tobacco in NC

Phatgzus's picture

CBS you say?

Phatgzus's picture

WalterFootball agrees with Brian-likely second-dayer; I'll gladly see your CBS and raise you a WF.

Stroh's picture

CBS is far better. Walters is OK but they don't have a scouting background. I'll take what CBS says over Walters.

Phatgzus's picture

Uh, he drafted Nick Collins.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I saw that also that Thompson talked with Boston.
At this point, it really doesn't mean much, but it will be kind of interesting to follow it.
I did also see that Thompson was being watched watching the Defense more then Offense at the Shrine game practices.

That being said, the average area for most Shrine game players go in the draft is 4th-7th round area. This is where Thompson really has been good in finding players over the years. With him watching the defense, I would think we will see a heavy defense oriented draft again.

Jamie's picture

Played CB his Freshman season at UNC.

Derek in CO's picture

I haven't seen him play, but he's highly rated. I love how schools fudge all the measureables to make players look bigger. the combine tells the real truth.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I would say that with Boston he is already at a disadvantage for the draft. Coming in measuring and weighing in less then what he was thought to.

It is funny how guys' ht's and wt's change from the school to the combine.

Right now from what I have seen I would think he would be a mid round pick. probably somewhere in the 3rd -5th round area. But with a slow 40 or something he could fall to the 6th or 7th round.

Ben's picture

Found this article titled the speediest guys in college football written in 2012:

Tre Boston is a 6’1”, 190-pound junior safety for the Tar Heels with a verifiable 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds.

In his two-year stint at Carolina, he’s racked up four picks, 102 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Boston’s lowest 40 time (not verified) is listed at 4.32, while his highest 40 is 4.56, putting him in a tie with the No. 24 finisher on our list and just a notch behind No. 23.

Hands's picture

Last year Texas Tech had a very speedy SS that was 6-1 and 205#. He had speed to burn and I was sure he would light up the NFL.....he was grabbed up by the Rams as a FA and made 5 tackles this year.
I use that as an example in that I have no freaking idea how good any of these guys are or will be in the NFL. I would like to see the holes plugged but here is what I think about the Packers D.
The defense was built under the viewpoint that the offense would have a lead for most of the games and would be playing a lot of medium-deep pass defense. When Rodgers went down, that structure was proven to be very weak when they had to stop teams when they had the lead. Different game plans built around different expectations.

mike's picture

try making contact with a new defensive coordinator that would news

Icebowler's picture

We need to draft a Safety on day one or two and then another one on day three. And then bring in a few more UFDA's.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

Amen. And cut some of the deadwood guys.

redlights's picture

Yeah, I think Burnett has enough talent to adequate if paired with someone of equal or more talent. I like the idea of drafting one high, and again later on. TT seems to like to do that every once in awhile: Brohm and Flynn; 2 LB's that one year; Lacy and Franklin and Bak and Tretter last year.

I think those Safeties can suffice with our average ILB's. If our DLine can play at least as good as last year, you;ll see improvement in our overall Defense

Phatgzus's picture

Agreed.

4thand1's picture

WTG Ted! I've been around a while, been to a lot of games, watched games at the bar, and have NEVER run into a Packer fan who blasted the team like some so called fans do in here. I'll repeat NEVER. Sure fans get frustrated and disappointed with a bad season or a loss, but for the most part are supportive. Except the Dan Devine era, that got ugly but was well deserved. He sold the team down the river. I guess I can't say Never. But I'm sure a lot of you weren't around then.

RunAndHyde's picture

I have this guy in my top ten safeties for sure, but he is kinda small. He seems to make a lot of plays, but I'd still like us to grab a 200+ pounder.

Phatgzus's picture

Maybe it's just me but most of this year's top safety prospects seem somewhat on the short or lanky side.

Stroh's picture

They all seem to be in the 5'11 to 6'2 range. Its just you!

Phatgzus's picture

Note the "or lanky"; dunno why you're taking your agitation out on me, STROH, never had a beef with you and actually appreciate some of your opinions. I'll kindly ask you to show the same respect I've afforded you.

Good day

Hank Scorpio's picture

The Packers should check every football field possible looking for Safeties. Maybe ole' TT can ask his good buddy Brett what he's seen as an assistant HS coach in Mississippi.

They should snag more than one from what they find. They simply must fix that problem that has been dogging them to one degree or another dating back to the Butler/Sharper duo. Last season was as bad as it has ever been that entire time.

4thand1's picture

Like they did with Crosby? That worked out well. Yes bring in about 10 safeties at the start of TC. Let the best man win the job or jobs, contract or not.

ted, of bill and ted's picture

I've watched tre for four years. For every good play, there are just as many bad ones. Probably couldn't count the number of times I screamed goddmanit tre this year. My brother goes to carolina...I sent him this article and he cried oh god please no....

Just thought I'd throw that out there

ted, of bill and ted's picture

In reply to my own comment, and because I feel bad for hanging tre out to dry, he did have to go through at least 3 defensive coordinators at unc, so his lapses may have something to do with that. I see him as a faster md Jennings. If he's available late, and we've covered out other bases, he wouldn't be a bad pick

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