Patriots Draft Pick Review: Tavon Wilson

Tavon Wilson had a solid rookie season in New England. (Photo: US Presswire)

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

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9 Responses to “Patriots Draft Pick Review: Tavon Wilson”

  1. MaineMan says:

    As much as people want to think that Wilson would definitely have been available long after #48, it turns out that wasn’t likely. Later reports discovered that six teams had worked-out Wilson in the week or so before the draft – including San Diego who picked at #49.

    We groundlings didn’t know about that because Kiper, Mayock, Schefter et al didn’t know about it because, well, such guys don’t really do nearly as much homework on non-glamor prospects as they lead us to believe they do. And, during the final week before the draft, they’re all much too busy blathering on network TV and tweaking their own exclusive first round projections to do any further research.

    It’s good for Pats fans, though, that BB keeps doing his homework right through Draft Day (and beyond) on all the prospects and on what other teams have interest.

  2. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I don’t feel Wilson was worth the 48 pick, when you could have gotten him at 90, but remember Bill see’s things (entangables) that many people don’t see in players. Once targeted he’s going to do his best to get the guy he wants. Ebner is the biggest head scratcher, I have ever seen Bill draft in may years of following Patriot drafts!! With Limited playing time, the Entangables were/ had to be, very important on Ebner.
    This years draft will be the Same, DT Joe Vellano, some where in the Patriot’s draft.

  3. acm says:

    Wouldn’t call Wilson “a steal” and would have been happier if he had been a 3rd or a 4th round pick but the guy has performed well for a rookie and would like to see him above Chung/Gregory in the safety depth chart next year. Would love to see BB sign Ed Reed, imagine how much he would help Wilson’s and DMac’s development.

  4. TD says:

    Going back and doing the whole retrospective draft critiquing is easy and unfair so I’m not going to do that. All we can do is judge how the picks do once they’re here like this article does, but I am not buying the “B” grade on Wilson or that he was a steal. I’m definitely not buying that Cunningham was a good pick either.

  5. dslave says:

    WHO WAS PICKED AROUND HIM THAT WAS BETTER? Dunlap compared to cunningham doesn’t make any sense. Cunningham is a hold the point off attackplayer while Dunlap just rushes the qb. That player has no disclipline. sacks are overrated.pressure and holding the edge is what the pats do.

    • mjp says:

      Am I the only who thought this review was something of a spoof? A steal?

      No. Casey Hayward was a steal, I had a 2nd round grade on him and he went in the 3rd, DROY candidate, top slot CB in the league pretty much.

      Richard Sherman, 3rd round grade, goes in the 5th if I recall, that’s a steal.

      Wilson was NOT a steal.

      • Alex says:

        Casey went in the second round, with the pick we traded to the Packers.

        Hindsight is always 20/20, but would rather BB had traded down from 48, as it would have avoided having to settle for a rubbish deal from Green Bay.
        Would have been even happier if Janoris Jenkins fell to 48, that was what I was hoping for at the time.

  6. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    BB gets the man he wants for the teams future. His draft moves are very well thought out, and he looks to the future with his moves. He like’s the entangables that some players have.

  7. Joe Blake says:

    No way was Wilson worth the 48th pick. BB should trade up, not back as he is NOT a good picker of talent: middle of the pack at best. He focuses too much on ” coach ability” preferring team captain types versus talent…case in point: Cunningham versus Dunlop…

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