Dec 31, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Tavon Wilson (3) lines up for a play against the UCLA Bruins during the third quarter at AT

New England Patriots Select Safety Tavon Wilson At #48 In The NFL Draft

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The New England Patriots have selected Safety Tavon Wilson out of Illinois with the 48’th overall pick in the NFL draft. We all knew that a focus would be made to help firm up the secondary, especially with such great picks being used to shore up the rest of the Defensive line. Not as big a name as the first two picks, Wilson still had a solid season at Illinois and had better than average fundamental skills. His tackling is his strong point, which was a major issue for the Patriots secondary in 2011.

Here’s a quick look at ESPN’s Scouting Report.

Instincts/Recognition
Overall instincts are slightly above-average. Can get caught peeking in the backfield and biting on play fakes working against play-action and is also vulnerable to effective double moves. Does a nice job of marking receivers coming into and out of his area in zone coverage. Displays the awareness to go for the strip when attempting tackles when possible. Displays above-average diagnostic skills as a run defender and reacts quickly. Has experience and versatility lining up at several different positions throughout career.

Cover Skills
Opens hips smoothly and displays a quick change of direction. Gathers quickly at the top of pedal when breaking forward. Displays some tightness and can lose momentum when having to make sudden 180 degree turn. Possesses a good closing burst and can cut down separation with the ball in the air. Can hold up as a half defender but his questionable overall long speed will put a cap on his overall range with middle of the field responsibilities.

Ball Skills
Aggressive and strong playing the ball and can rip the ball away from receivers. Possesses adequate hands and can pull in routine interceptions. However lacks elite playmaking ability to be a difference maker in the back end.

Run Support
Aggressive and willing in this area. Takes solid angles and displays an above-average close in pursuit. Can struggle to get off of blocks when aligned near the box. Possesses very good body control as a tackler and does a sound job of wrapping up to get ball carriers off their feet.

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