NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa
In probably the most interesting draft selections that the New England Patriots made in the 2012 NFL draft was selecting Tavon Wilson out of Illinois with the 48th overall pick.
For starters, I did not like this selection at all—but Wilson sure impressed me in his rookie season.
In my pre-draft rankings, I did not foresee Wilson going in the second round—in fact, I had him listed in the fourth and fifth rounds.
If you ask me, this selection was a steal.
Wilson played in all 16 games for the Patriots this year and became a reliable part in New England’s secondary. Granted, Wilson had his share of mental lapses early on on the season and was one of the key factors to New England’s defense giving up so many big plays, but really settled in as a solid defender.
As the season went on, we saw Wilson giving the responsibilities of covering the opposing team’s tight ends. In one of Wilson’s most impressive performances, he held tight end Owen Daniels to nine receptions on 15 total targets and holding him to 81 yards and no touchdowns in New England’s playoff victory over the Houston Texans.
I foresee Wilson taking on the role that we expected Patrick Chung to take on when he was in the earlier part of his career.
All in all, there were a lot of positives in Wilson’s debut season but certainly has plenty of work to do in understanding Bill Belichick’s defensive philosophy.
2012 Stats: 16 games played, 41 tackles, four interceptions for 87 yards and six pass deflections
Letter Grade: B