In the era of the loud mouthed, swagger filled defensive backs led by Richard Sherman, Tre Boston enters the NFL as a very confident and aggressive player with plenty of skill and passion.
At times, however, Boston struggles to control his emotions and often gets lost in coverage and may over pursue his opponent. This is one reason why he was projected so low, and his fire will have to be controlled at the next level.
Boston’s focus has often been brought into question, and will need to make pro football his undoubtable priority in the NFL. Knowing Gettleman, I trust he has done his homework on him believes the the UNC star can change into a calmer player.
Boston is a good natural tackler and makes very good reactions and hip movement. He does tend to take bad cuts and over pursue at times (again due to his emotions more than likely), but is nothing that a natural tackler like him cannot improve on.
His aggressive play is what stands out the most to me. While he lacks focus off the field, he puts it all on the line on the field. He will talk and get inside the opponent's head much like Richard Sherman and plays with a lot of heart.
The Panthers signed both Roman Harper and Thomas DeCoud making little need for another safety, but Boston was best player available in this situation. While many will call this a “reach,” I believe that Boston has starting potential and will break out next year as the starting strong safety.
Bene Benwikere, 5’11” cornerback out of San Jose State, was not well known coming into the draft, but Dave Gettleman obviously knew his name, electing to trade the team’s fifth and seventh round picks for him.
Benwikere does not have elite size, speed, or strength but is still an elite football player. He has a very high intellect and always puts himself in a position to make plays on the ball, while making quick and smooth reactions when he plays.
Unfortunately, Benwikere is not a very good tackler, and struggles in run support. I cannot see him improving on this without hitting the weight room and gaining a significant amount of muscle weight. He will not be a strong tackler in the NFL, but I suspect he was brought in for his coverage skills.
I don’t see Benwikere ever being a number one or two cover guy, but he is a perfect fit for the nickel corner spot. His smart play will be good at staying on top of any receiver he is given. I think this could be a very solid pick for the Panthers and help our secondary as a career nickel corner.
With an aging DeAngelo Williams and fragile Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers made their last selection in this year’s draft by picking Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney. Gaffney fit the Panthers’ “best player available” strategy and could be a possible successor to the two previously mentioned backs and possibly join Kenjon Barner as the future running duo for the Panthers.
Gaffney is best known for his power and ability to find hole. Once he finds the holes though, he doesn’t possess break away speed.
Overall, Gaffney is a very gritty and tough player and keeps his legs moving through contact allowing him to break out and away from defenders whenever his speed is not enough.
Gaffney is also Excellent all-around athlete. He played one year of Class-A baseball in the minors before returning to Stanford to finish his senior season.
While he won’t be a star at the next level, he will at the least be a solid power back to put in on certain downs. My best case scenario for Gaffney is that he can become a solid starting running back and both him and Barner become a good speed and power combo once Williams and Stewart are aren’t in with the team anymore.