With the forty-eighth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select Tavon Wilson, free safety out of the University of Illinois to try to help plug holes in the secondary.
After reading this, you pondered the question "Who the heck is this guy?". But then, you remembered that this is Bill Belichick calling the shots. After much googling and Youtubing, I was able to get to know the mysterious Mr. Wilson a little bit more.
Coming into the draft, Wilson was ranked by ESPN's Scouts Inc. as the No. 24 ranked safety in the draft and a projected sixth round selection, at the earliest. With that being said, lets look at Wilson's accomplishments at Illinois.
Wilson comes in as an ideal safety, size-wise at 6'0 and 205 pounds. As a senior, Wilson recorded 81 tackles, 5.5 for losses, to go along with seven pass deflections, a sack and two fumble recoveries. While there isn't a lot on Wilson, I can tell that his strength appears to be his tackling. Wilson was named a 2011 All-PAC Ten honorable mention. Wilson started all 13 games and had 48 tackles as the strong safety his junior year and 74 tackles at cornerback his sophomore year in 12 starts. Tackling seems to be his forte, if he has one.
Another thing that stands out to me with Wilson is that he appears to be a Bill Belichick type player. He's a high character guy who served as the Illini's captain his senior year. He had a hard life growing up, and football seems to have helped him grow as a person and a leader. However, the nicest guy you'll ever meet may not be the greatest NFL player you ever saw. Because he could have been had on down the road, I'm not sure I get this pick. But then again, Bill Belichick knows something that I don't. Could be a sleeper. Let's hope!
Jared's Grade: C-