Patriots Draft Tavon Wilson, Shock the World

Tavon Wilson Patriots Draft

Tavon Wilson is the newest surprise pick for the Patriots.

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

With the 48th pick in the NFL Draft, the Patriots selected FS Tavon Wilson from Illinois.

That is by far the most shocking pick in the draft, but since Belichick did it, it’s also the least surprising.

I watched Tavon Wilson a little bit while I was watching Whitney Mercilus and I saw a guy that should be able to play centerfield-style FS for the Patriots. He’s a bit undersized and he’s certainly not the Patrick Chung clone I was dreading the Patriots would take.

He ran a 4.52 at his pro day and was not invited to the combine. He doesn’t have the greatest ball skills, and he likely won’t help out much in man coverage. He’s also not an overly physical player who should help out in the box. As much as we hear about how Belichick likes safeties who can play both positions, Wilson looks like a pure FS to me.

We all know the Patriots need in the secondary and here’s the defensive back we were all hoping for, right? Wilson will likely compete with Steve Gregory to start at safety beside Chung when the season starts.

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110 Responses to “Patriots Draft Tavon Wilson, Shock the World”

  1. Jay says:

    What amuses me is that all you armchair football “gurus” think your opinion is more educated than a man who, inarguably, will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest pro football coaches of all time. It must be a terrible feeling to go to your menial jobs every day, disgruntled by the fact that you, in fact, should be the coach of one of the most prolific football franchises for more than a decade, instead of this moron who makes such terrible draft choices that have only lead us to the Super Bowl. I did not realize how many clairvoyant football fans are out there. To label you intelligent, however, makes the assumption that you are capable of understanding what the word means.

  2. joey rish says:

    Everyone was happy when the Pat’s took e ach of their no. 1’s and traded up with each one to get that pass rusher off the edge they needed so bad; And Hightower can play up the middle or on the outside and has some speed and can put pressure on from the outside too. And so by moving up for these guys, It cost them a 3rd and 4th (well worth it) and left them with only their two second round picks remaining
    So obviously the patriots at the time of the round really had a round left and 2 picks..They went with their first 2 in the front 7 and still wanted Defense. And so they went for a DB with their 3rd pick in draft in at the was gonna be their next. to last pick If they had 7 picks at the time, then they may have waited on Tavon

  3. Chris says:

    I absolutely love what the Patriots did in the first round.

    But the second round was a disaster.

    Tavon Wilson is just not that good a football player. Watching tape of him shows that. He had a surprisingly good pro day, which helped him.

    He has good character. Wonderful. But his hips aren’t fluid. He’s about to be torched. This pick would have been fine a couple of rounds lower.

    To pass on Reyes or Worthy really hurts, esp. that both are much better than Love

    And no one will remember the trade down at 62 for extremely poor value.

    Bill Belichick loves to tweak the process–why a few years ago he did a nonsense trade with his friend Andy Reid–and engages in excessive wheeling and dealing. And the idea of taking a guy no one knew about, a guy who wasn’t all Big Ten first team or second team but merely honorable mention, was too enticing.

    Bill’s ego is getting too big. And he’s put this kid in an enviable situation. How’d you like to be him or Ras-I Dowling this year?

  4. Jim says:

    I wonder how many times Kiper, McShay, Mayock and all the other so called experts have criticized a pick and had that player end up a pro bowler or all pro. Conversely, I wonder how many picks they couldn’t shut up about how great they were going to be that completely flamed out. BB will hit and he will miss. Bottom line, he hits way more often than he misses.

  5. JMA says:

    Reading the board so far I’m surprised no one has talked about the fact that reportedly, the Patriots loved Kendall Reyes DT (UConn). They checked him out multiple times, they were fortunate he was still available at 48, its a position of need, he’s versatile, which thet great BB loves, yet they take a guy they could have easily grabbed much much later.

    Was BB checking out Reyes to spread disinformation CIA style to then stealthy swoop in and grab a guy who athletically projects as a lower round selection. The Pats need mulitple bodies and pass rushers – they had that chance with Reyes and Jerel Worthy (another player that visited Pats) – but surprise surprise, another 2nd round brain freeze.

    And please, no one mention steals the Pats have made in later rounds to justify this nonsensical selection. You draft smart by finding guys late who you project could have earlier round value – NOT by taking a guy in the second who didn’t even merit a Combine invite.

  6. Russell B says:

    Everyone has selective memory of draft hits & misses, it’s not an exact science. Rodney Harrison was a 5th round pick (145) in ’94. If he was taken in the 2nd round how many would’ve said “Who’s he, what a wasted pick.” I’ve been a fan of the Pats since the early 70’s. Back then we could only dream of the success they’ve had over the past 11 years.

  7. Roxbury Bob says:

    What a bunch of unappreciative whiners!!! Have a little cheese with your whine!! We didn’t win last year because we missed ONE play and the Giants made ONE play; that’s how close it was. The Patriots have dominated their division for the last dozen years because of what Bill Belichick has built here through the draft and free agency. He’s had alot more hits than misses, I know that much. He has built an offense that is UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE, forcing teams to prepare for the Patriots like no other team in the league. The offense is solidly secure for at least the rest of Tom Brady’s tenure,so now he’ll get his defense in order. Jones and Hightower were great picks. Bill sees something in Tavon Wilson and his winning percentage earns a free pass with me. Maybe you guys want the ”Glory Days” of Clive Rush or Rod Rust again?

    • JimC says:

      Bob…I couldn’t with you more.

      Most people who follow the draft only know the players that are reported by the analysis experts. They also see only the players invited to the combine as draft ready. Tavon’s numbers for 2011 we pretty darn good for a school that finished last in its conference.

      If Mel Kipper doesn’t give a letter of endorsement then the player must not be any good.

  8. Joe Blake says:

    Another pants tent pick for BB the FA….Draft a DT with the first 2nd round pick or a ranked CB

  9. Liam says:

    Also guys, chill out. Over the last 10 years objective studies have shown (Peter King did one, and there was one on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website) that the Pats (read Bill Belichick) are the best drafters in the league based on drafted Pro-bowlers, All-pros, average career length in the NFL etc. Dude knows what he’s doing.

    • Jeff says:

      2nd rd picks Butler, Brace, Jackson, Cunninghan, Johnson, Wheatley…seems to be more misses than gets in this round.

  10. Liam says:

    Picks that BB has taken in the past that were considered major reaches include Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Devin McCourty, Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley. I think this presages good things for Tavon Wilson.

    • Jimmy says:

      Not with McCourty though, he sucks. Hope He can return to his rookie form and prove all the doubters (including myself) wrong but im not seeing it

      • karnak says:

        McCourty had a bad sophmore year. In some sports it is known as a sophmore slump. If you look at the body of his work over the year it was not that bad – the injury also set him back.

  11. Matt says:

    When you actually go watch some film on this guy, you can see he’s exactly what the Patriots need. Maybe not now but in 2 years he will be the ball hawk we have been missing for so many years

    • vb says:

      If he is a project, why draft him in the second round?

    • big w says:

      There is no tape of him nfldraftscout has him 7th rd or free agent

    • Jeff says:

      He wasnt a ball hawk in college what makes you think he will be a ball hawk in the NFL?

      • Charles says:

        He’s a smart kid. And he works hard. That must show something. BB loves kids who work hard

      • karnak says:

        They played him everywhere at UI, CB, S, LB. He is actually pretty versitile. I think the idea that someone is a ball hawk depends is really not that easy to define and your opportunities depend on how you are used in a particular system.

  12. s a zard says:

    Clearly they going to have to pay a lot for the first two picks so they pick somebody they know they can get with lost money that’s why they took Wilson

  13. MikeBajda says:

    I just don’t understand getting cute in the 2nd round – what is the point accumulating 2nd round picks when you take players that you could easily get in the 4-5th round? It just make zero sense on every level. This day and age, you can’t fleece all the analysis out there, which is ad nauseum. I will take the mass analysis consensus over the BB off the wall pick any day these days – you just can’t sneak players by. This has bust written all over it. I don’t even see his name on top 20 lists at the Safety position.

    Bottom line, this kid could have been had much, much later in the draft.

    • Bob Shannon says:

      Does anyone in the Draft Room Have any balls to say to BB that this pick is not the time or place at this point in the draft…..I had sheets out with the top 300 prospects and Tavon Wilson was not on it…Don’t Figure….

  14. Josh says:

    It official bb is no longer alowed to draft cb/s any more he just doesn’t get their value right always reaching for them in the second just ruined the draft for me

  15. Jim R says:

    Threw up in my mouth. WTF

  16. prime says:

    Tavon Wilson rely i dont even know who this is. You take Tavon Wilson when you got Markelle Martin, Brandon Taylor, Trumaine Johnson, and Brandon Tayloron the bored

    • Bob Shannon says:

      Even if he got mispelled his name there is no other name even close….BB is really senial since he turned 60…Did he get his daily nap in, apparently not….Where the hell is the support around him to tell him when he’s wrong….Anger Management Classes Here I Come!!!!

  17. Kemicol says:

    BB is a hall of fame coach let’s just get real. He see’s something there and he was willing to take the pick my bet he has a coming out party in new England

    • Ratzalot says:

      No doubt BB is the best, but his “reach” picks have a horrid track record. BB could “see something” in Tavon Wilson while waiting until the 5th Round (4th Round at earliest). Like warren schrader said, Wilson very possibly could have been an undrafted free agent.

      • Andy F says:

        Yeah! Remember when they reached for Mankins? What at that time they reached for Vollmer! Patriots suck!

        • Ratzalot says:

          The sarcasm is unnecessary and beyond the scope of the point. A reach is a reach; a player who could have easily been drafted later (often much later). Why waste a pick early when you can still get your guy later? And for the record, Vollmer is average and injury-plagued. Getting lucky on a reach doesn’t make up for guys like Wheatley and Brace.

        • Drew says:

          This. Andy makes the correct comment. The Pats took him because they like him and I’d bet a ton of money someone else did too, which is why they took him. They are paid lots of money to do this and know way more than any internet commenter. Also, when they make these head-scratcher picks, they are always right. It’s when they make the ones people expect (Chad Jackson comes to mind) that they get in trouble.

        • Drew says:

          Ratzalot, not a chance they can get him later. Otherwise, you’re right. They would have just taken him later. When your thought-pattern leads you to a completely unexplainable conclusion, it’s probably a flaw in the thought-pattern. Not in the people who are really good at what they do.

        • Alex says:

          Vollmer over-rated? You know he was a 2nd year All-Pro last year.
          Now we know that seemingly anyone can make the Pro Bowl, Hello Mr Merriweather, but being an All Pro is a much higher accolade.

          Andy F’s point stands, that BB has done very well with some reaches, and he has also missed with some others.

          Also don’t forget the poor market for trading back that we are seeing.

        • Ratzalot says:

          @ Drew – Your line of thinking suggests their picks are infallible. This is certainly not the case. As I said, BB and his staff are the best, but not perfect. They passed on Clay Matthews in 2009 yet reached for Ron Brace shortly thereafter. OLB was the bigger need then too, not NT. I challenge you to dig up references supporting the notion someone else was hot for Wilson because I’m not buying it. Even if it’s so, what scout/analyst/expert has Tavon Wilson rated as a 2nd Round talent? All of those scouts are very good at what they do as well, not perfect, but very good.

        • Drew says:

          7 teams had him in for visits. There was obvious interest. Can I say with certainly where he’d go? Nope. But drafting is a mathematical exercise, and you draft on value alone if you’re good. The Pats are good. Therefore they draft on value. Does that mean you always make the right pick? No. But you put yourself in the best statistical position with any decision you make. Read Moneyball or anything by Edward Thorp. Once you understand the world from a more statistical vantage point, you’ll understand how teams are run (or businesses or casinos or…).

        • Ratzalot says:

          Drew, your suggestions of probability theory and/or sabermetrics don’t fit the situation. There was no value in this pick. There was a hell of a lot of subjectivity in BB having Wilson rated so highly versus any other source. If anything, the Patriots did the exact opposite, but in the worst possible way.

        • Drew says:

          Look, I can’t play apologist to the draft analysts. All I can do is say that there is some reason BB had him ranked high enough to take, and just because you and all the draft analysts didn’t think highly of him doesn’t mean NFL teams didn’t. Mike Riss has an interesting piece on just that. He was apparently on many teams’ radars, and it’s not BB’s fault that he wasn’t on Kiper’s big board or whatever.

    • Bob Shannon says:

      I’ll take that bet….BB is horendous, terrible, insane, is the king of Who the Hell Is That?? type of picks…..4 out of 17 hits…..that’s 13 misses…..That is why they lost in the last two Super Bowls……

      • big w says:

        He is truly not that great at the draft,defence of the 3 super bowls had mainly tuna’s picks on it he is better at older free agents.

        • nesailor says:

          Tuna’s Picks???…he was gone for years by 2001…some of them were left over from then…some were from the Carrol era and a few (anybody know a guy named Brady?) were BB’s.

  18. Jeff says:

    I want to comment..but I have no idea what to say about this pick.

    • Ratzalot says:

      Once the shock subsides, it will likely turn into disgust and then frustration…

    • Tommy G. says:

      There were rumors that the Ravens were looking to take this guy. The Patriots obviously wanted him bad, and if they could have waited they would have. But I’d bet my life savings that someone after them wanted to grab Tavon and they took him before they could.

      • Drew says:

        Also San Diego liked him. But, we internet commenters know that no one else wanted him because Kiper, McShay, and the like didn’t know anything about him. Doom! Everyone! DOOM!

        • Johal says:

          I agree. Lets just see what this guy can do. No one knows much about him. bill probably saw things he liked about him. I don’t blame him to draft someone he liked. I’m glad he did. Draft is a crap shoot, gotta take risks sometimes and go with your gut. Plus i’m sure he’s gonna be better than sergio brown, james ihegdibo

  19. edward0383 says:

    “Manning steps back, he’s looking for D. Thomas and he catches it for a touchdown. What a throw!!!!! It seems like D. Thomas was wide open he glew past the safety T. Wilson. If you are a safety in the NFL you have
    to be able to cover better than that” This is what we are most likely to hear next year.

  20. Ratzalot says:

    I’m utterly disgusted. This pick smells of striking similarity to the Terrence Wheatley reach. I know Pats fans are screaming for defensive players, but the Patriots could have had David DeCastro, Peter Konz, and Janoris Jenkins very easily. Instead we got Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, and Tavon Wilson. WTF!!!???

    • warren schrader says:

      Im sorry there is something wrong with the pats draft we could have got this guy as ufa

    • Joe says:

      I think Wilson is a reach, but you would rather have DeCastro, Konz, and Jenkins than Hightower and Jones??

      DeCastro is a good player, but Konz has a major medical red flag with his blood clots, and Jenkins is more likely to fail a drug test, knock some girl up or get in a bar fight than he is to intercept a pass, LOL.

      Kind of hard to judge a pick before they even get on the field and coaching can do wonders, but medical and character issues aren’t likely to go away.

      In Bill We Trust

      • Ratzalot says:

        I’m reasonable, so I understand some people won’t like the Konz or Jenkins picks. I’m OK with Hightower because he’s a beast. However, Chandler Jones is uninspiring at best. I HOPE my concerns are unfounded and he becomes a monster in the NFL, but I’m not seeing it. BUT…DeCastro is a blue chip offensive lineman, heralded as the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson. There is no excuse for passing up on that type of prospect even if it’s not a position of immediate need. Now playoff rival Steelers have him…great…

        • Johal says:

          Dude calm down. We played with our 4th center last year and it didn’t feel like it. Pats have one of the best o lines in the league. When you have an 8 mill guard in mankins, 3 mill versatile back up in dan connolly, another good back up guard in gallery and may be the pro bowler waters with thomas welch as another back up. You don’t need to draft another guard!
          No doubt he is a very good prospect but we filled a bigger need with dont’a and jones. Jones may not have a rookie of the year type of a year next year but he’s going to be a stud in a couple of years. A 6-7 olb with 36 inch arms?? He’s going to be batting passes, blocking field goals like JPP. granted he doesnt have the same explosiveness like JPP

      • big w says:

        After going back in draft that Bill was in charge of the Pats have ahorrible record of draft picks being busts. Decastro versus Jones outside of us nobody takes Jones, Hightower picked to fill multiple holes but Tavon in the second round with a 44 rating and the rest of the round averages 82 don’t ever tell me we draft the best player.

        • joey rish says:

          Who makes those ratings? And who says anyone else even believes in or goes by the B.S. numbers anyways… Every team hits and misses. Pats have had plenty of good picks under BB. Including one Tom Brady; Along with key players who have helped to win 3 out of 5 SB’s…COLD HARD FACTS Of LIFE!!

  21. Gz Nutz says:

    this kid is a playmaker! can’t believe there aren’t any highlights…he has FF and fumble recoveries in a lot of games. tackle machine…3rd on the illini this year with 81 tackles. i like the pick but i still think it could have been had in the 3rd. (i know we don’t have one but we could have traded for one.) i really hope there are a lot of UDFA worth their salt.

  22. NEtyson says:

    Eagles dline him gonna b scary

  23. Gz Nutz says:

    i was sure bill was taking brandon taylor here…and i definitely agree that he could have been had later in the draft. should have traded it for a 3rd or 4th. how about brandon boykin at 62? Triple threat KR, CB, WR…make that quadruple threat with being a gunner and could move to safety. i need a tissue…lol

  24. Ty says:

    this pick makes me sick to my stomach. This is why N.E. has such a bad time drafting CB’s is because they make crazy reaches like this. I would rather have had them take any of the next picks all the way to denvers pick.

  25. Truth Speaker says:

    As always this guy falsely characterizes a plyr

  26. AM says:

    Best case scenario, he’s a defensive Sebastian Vollmer. Worst case, he’s New England’s Michael Mitchell. After two high-value front seven players yesterday, I’ll give Belichick the benefit of the doubt (at least, until the preseason).

  27. joe says:

    Now the pats have to trade brian hoyer so they can get a real cb

  28. JMC says:

    He may be legit- but he certainly could have been got at 62.
    They passed on a lot of good guys- Konz, Curry etc, etc- this pick makes no sense-

    I hope this works-

    • Smarty says:

      Agreed — he probably would’ve been there later.

      I thought this pick should’ve been used for a DB, Trumaine Johnson being my favorite, but Konz would have helped too.

      On the other hand, I can only hope that the Pats coaches and scouts know a lot more about this than I do, and think that’s a safe bet.

    • Bob Shannon says:

      My list has 300 top prospects and Tavon was not to be found..BB gets the “Who the Hell is That” Award…..

  29. doodlfrog says:

    weve been signing Vets in the secondary and we have plenty of youg talent. why spend a 2 round on this guy. nothing against him but it seems as if since we drafted so well yesterday we have to make up for it and draft what seems to be a 4-5 rounder. I wish we would have atleast used it on Devon still DT , or chris rainey RB

  30. tomb says:

    i dont even know what to say right now……..

  31. Bud says:

    Sports Illustrated’s board had about 20 safeties ahead of Wilson. Some comments say Wilson is smart and hard working, and maybe those were traits lacking in some of the safeties who didn’t make it.

    I’m also surprised they didn’t opt for a Cornerback at that point. Sure, Jenkins was gone, but you’d think CB was more in demand than Safety. Then again, if Bill B. has assessed the other teams choosing between 48 and 62, and decided none of the are going after the CB the Pats want…um, I guess this makes some kind of sense.

  32. j ball says:

    Whooo the heeckkkk is this studdd

  33. NEtyson says:

    Was ranked to go in the 4th or 5th but im trusting bill sees the talent and skill no 1 eles does……remember BB has taking noname guys who turned out to be very productive for r team

  34. @59russo59 says:

    I will never forget the awkward silence that followed after Troy Brown announced this guys name. All 3 ESPN draftniks had nothing to say about this guy. A 2nd rounder.

    • alex says:

      i bet by this time next year you will have forgotten that moment

    • Dan says:

      lol…I was watching Kiper and he was just looking down baffled…searching his notes for who the hell it was. It’s picks like this that really can make all these “experts” freak out about their careers.
      Then Gruden, luckily, had something to say…he talked about Zook saying the kid was better than the rest etc…So, there are people who believed in him as a player.

  35. Dan says:

    Does anyone have film on this guy???

    It’s a shocker, especially with the D tackles there…I thought they would be jumping on Reyes.

    Have to admit….can’t wait to see this kid in camp…hear what he looks like out on the field, because they saw something in him that very few others did.

    But, they love this kid to compete at a position of huge need…3 defensive picks; so, I’m not going to complain. He’s got good size at just under 6′, 205…plenty fast enough at 4.5 and played in a tough conference. He had production and must be a high character kid to add to this team building.

    It speaks volumes about these defensive lineman available….what a tumble these fat bodies are taking…holy !#% !!!!

  36. BB ego says:

    This is where bb tries to show everyone how smart he thinks he is…what a complete a hole.

  37. sopoyork says:

    … Nobody heard of Thomas Brady either, just sayin’

  38. doodlfrog says:


  39. Dave says:

    Wait to see him before u judge him you idiot! Are you the coach?

    • BB ego says:

      I am sure you said the same thing with all his misses.

      • Chris says:

        I’m pretty sure he said “Wait to see him before u judge him you idiot! Are you the coach?”

        • BB ego says:

          point is – against every other evaluation out there – including scouts from other teams – what’s the chance that any other team would have taken him near that spot.

          highly unlikely

    • Bob Shannon says:

      Know one told BB had the Dart Board up with all the DB’s names on it…..And this kid Tavon was the one he hit….God Bless Him…..

  40. alex says:

    i think it’s pretty obvious from all the mock drafts that i’ve read that trumaine johnson is going to have a far better career than this guy. way to go, bill.

  41. AP says:

    speechless… brilliant day one, confused day two

    • Bob Shannon says:

      Confused…..How can all these people evaluating these prospects be this wrong……Mike Adams went at 56, Reuben Randle at 63, Jerel worthy 51, konz 55, and my guy Kendall Reyes at 49 Those were players up to the rankings at pick 33…..BB really missed the barn on this pick…In fact the whole second day…..Now I’ve got to go to my anger management class….

  42. Dano S says:

    Trading down here seems like it would have made alot more sense.

  43. Phil says:

    Whats even funnier is the fact that right when they were on the clock, the pick was in like they were so certain to draft this guy…honestly this is awful…i have no clue what they were thinking. This pick has NO value.

  44. Dan says:

    I don’t understand the pick, but whatever these guys know better than we do. What I really don’t get at all, is why couldn’t we move back, pick up an extra 4th or 5th and get him in 5 or 6 picks? Makes no sense….

    • Dan says:

      the only thing that does make sense is nobody is trading right now…teams are just picking and turning them in. I would gather they tried, but had no luck so they took the player they wanted.

      • Mark says:

        It was a gauntlet throw down to the other teams. The equivalent of emptying his pistol in a duel to show how tough he is. He just chewed his leg off and spat it at the feet of his enemies and watched their eyes widen in fear as he grew another.

  45. MP says:

    As Bill Belichick will remind everybody, his board is different then the fans’ boards

  46. Blackluck says:

    Horrible, horrible pick. What happened to trust your board? Seriously.
    After last night’s euphoria we pull this crap. Going to be the worse pick of the draft for any team. Takes the grade from an A to D-. So depressing.

    • NEPD says:

      I’m assuming Wilson was that high on their board.

      • AP says:

        I can’t seem to find – not just a positive review about the guy, but even a positive statement about him! UGH!

        Can’t cover, can’t play in the box, slow, bad hips, bites on PA…


    • Ralph says:

      Illinois is consistently one of the WORST coached programs in America. Each year they churn out first and second rounders, yet the Illini are more than likely awful each season. Zook could recruit the best of them, but when it came to developing them to help his own butt, he failed miserably.
      I think BB picked him knowing the kid was not coached well, working with the Pats secondary guys, he could be a legit pick.

      • Dan says:

        good point…I have more hope now.

        I was thinking that he must be a diamond in the rough…in their opinion, obviously. He must be someone coachable with the stuff needed to be molded into a d-back.

        • Bob Shannon says:

          How bout his sister’s mother in law’s girlfriend best friend boy friend that is a real Patriot Fan??????? Does anything make sense anymore????????

      • edward0383 says:

        Oh yeah because our DB coaches do a great job
        at developing the hundred or so DB’s we have drafted
        in the last 4 years. Talk about Al Davis’ ghost hunting us for
        retribution after all those picks we stole from them.

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