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One NFC assistant's take on Tavon Wilson (inside info)

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by midwestpatsfan, May 9, 2012.

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  1. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    I posted this in the main forum as well, but thought it might interest more of the draftniks in this forum.

    Okay, I can finally chime in on Tavon Wilson.
    I have a college friend who now works for an NFC team.(He asked not to name the team) He is low on the totum pole but basically he is an assistant to the midwest regional scout for this team. He did a lot of tape cut up for scouting reports and was involved in putting together the reports on players from the scouts. We both love the draft and he is following his dream to become a full time scout. I was finally able to get a hold of him (took a vacation after the draft) and ask him what he could tell me about what they had on Tavon Wilson.
    He laughed and knew right when that pick was made that I would be calling him about the pick, so he looked back at the notes he had worked on about him
    Here is what he felt comfortable telling me.

    Some of the notes they had on him was that he was versatile and underrated. Solid tackler, they liked him better at safety than corner, but liked him as a blitzer as well. Has good backpedal and footwork. Needs to locate ball better(that is why they liked him at safety more) Extremely coachable and hard working, high ethics, no off field issues. Strong on and off field leader. No red flags.

    He would not tell me who the safeties were rated in front of Wilson but he did say that they had him in their top 5 with a 3rd round grade.

    He did say that they did not have him in for a private workout that he knew of, but from the notes looks like they spent extra time with him at his pro day, would not say what his pro day notes said for some reason, which intrigues me.

    He also said that they had 2 codes on his name which were rising and undervalued.(there were more codes, but he would not tell me. After pressing him a bit, I got the impression that his leadership was a big deal)

    I asked him how he could be rising and undervalued at the same time and he told me that the scout thought his play was undervalued because the tape at safety was limited. He was a riser because they got wind of several teams late in the process taking a closer look at him, did not have specific teams.
    I also got the impression that when they were resetting their board for day 3, they were not surprised he was gone. He had to do some late night tape work on some positions for day 3 and while he would not tell me which ones, he did say safety was not one of them.

    Just take this for what its worth. Like I said, he is low on the totum pole but he does have a very limited insight from an actual team in the NFL.
    I asked him if he remembered him specifically when he was cutting up film work and he said he did not. He was going to try and go back and watch him in the next couple of weeks if he had time.
  2. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    OK, taking this at face value: 3rd-round grade with awesome intangibles, which the Pats desperately needed at that position. Anticipating the likelihood of trading away #62. Yeah, I'd just go ahead and make the pick.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And a "fast riser" on draft boards to boot, if the report is true. And most importantly, BB saw him as a fit.

    MWPF, nothing personal but I'm always a bit skeptical of these "I know someone who ..." posts. But thank you for sharing. I hope it's true.
  4. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    I agree Patchick,
    I think the Patriots got themselves into a tough position. The trade ups in the first round (which were great) left them with limited assets and limited options when the pick came up in the 2nd round.
    My guess would be that the Patriots tried to trade down at 48 so they could regain some draft flexibility. When a trade partner could not be found, they were forced to make a pick. Now, we must assume that Wilson was highly rated and that there must have been a gap between him and the next safety on their board. I have no idea if Wilson was their highest rated player regardless of position, again, my guess would be no, but this is where need comes into play.
    Lets say the patriots draft a different position there and Wilson goes somewhere between 48 and 62 which, at the time, they did not know but was a possibility. Then, at 62 they again could not find a trading partner and the next safety on the board is a lot lower rated and you have to take another player at a different position, or reach for a safety that you had even lower than Wilson. Now they leave the draft with no safety drafted or a much lower rated one. People point out that they could have taken Iloka or Martin instead. Guess what, for 5 plus rounds, every team passed on them, so if the patriots would have taken them in the 2nd would that have been a reach? Probably not at the time of the draft, but hindsight makes me realize just how little I know despite what I am able to watch and read from the so called experts.

    With the obvious bad value the Patriots had to take in that trade with GB just to get back into the draft, the above scenario is very realistic. When trading looked like it could be next to impossible, BB had to make the decision to overdraft players he really liked, even if it was a "reach" or leave the draft with 2 players he targeted with the 1st round picks and 2 players that may not have been as big of reach but did not present as much value to the team. Position need had to come in play here, and maybe it was not as big of reach as we all assumed.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  5. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    None taken, I usually am too, and this is the first time I have ever gone to him to try and get information, but I just had to with Wilson because he was such a lightning rod of conversation.

    I was really just hoping to find out if the team he worked for thought it was a major reach or not.
    I never got the impression that at least by him that it was as big a reach that everyone in the public eye made it out to be.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  6. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    This might be true, but he's miles ahead of the learning curve than just about everyone here except OTG - ;)
    .
    This could be the most illuminating quote of the entire draft. I would have been "thrilled" if Ioki or Martin had been the Pats S selection.....as would most of Patriot nation. And those mediots and fans who might have disagreed with the pick would have done so without all the vehemence and stunned outrage that the Wilson pick engendered.

    You can almost see Kiper calling the pick of Iloki or Martin "a slight reach, but understandable given the need". We then would have seen the clips they'd prepared and the night would have gone on with hardly a ripple.

    Once again with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight we can see that it was Iloki AND Martin who would have been the "outrageous" reaches and it was Wilson who was the slight reach made understandable by the need. Instead what we got was wide eyed gasps and the shuffling of papers desperately trying to find out who Wilson was and trying to explain why the Pats would have drafted him in the 2nd round.

    MWPF, you have done us all a great service with this info. I know I learned a great lesson with your post, and feel a great deal better about the pick. Knowledge truly is power.

    Now I need you to find out how the F**k BB was talked into that horrible trade by GB, when Denver was giving away the store just a few picks later. ;)
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  7. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid On the Roster

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    Hah!! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the gracious words, Brother Pat!! I still consider myself an infant at this Draft thing ~ with many outrageous gaps in knowledge!! ~ and would note that there are several tremendous minds around here with greater experience than I, not least'f whom would be Brother Mayo ~ but I do thank ye kindly. :cool:
  8. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid On the Roster

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    #3 Jersey

    Thanks for the Report, Brother MidWest. :cool:

    I would rather've seen us pull a guy in off the street than invest #48 ~ 48!! ~ in a Strong Safety...And it's highly unlikely that we couldn't've got at least the package ~ #59 + #123 ~ that the Packers shortly thereafter swapped for #51...But while I do not subscribe to the In Bill We Trust hogwash ~ the "Bill Doesn't Make Mistakes" Garbage ~ I do believe that he deserves, as Brother Mayo has put it, the benefit of the doubt.

    In any case: What's done is done.

    We can now only hope for the best from this Draft...and of course prepare for next year's. :D
  9. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Wow, my first Brother from OTG. I have arrived!!!!!
    I agree, all we can do now is cheer and hope for the best for the players on the team. We cannot live in the world of whatifs

    Like I said before, I love the draft and hate pulling out the "I know a guy" because I hate putting him in that situation, but this one time, I had to know if he could shed any light on Wilson
  10. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    Panic. They were desperate. It was as if GB knew how desperate the Patriots were....
  11. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fred, you've forgotten your own script! You've said it over and over: drafting Wilson was the big show of "panic."

    Remember, the "uber-reach" for a safety who would obviously have been available multiple rounds later? The way Belichick, who had never stopped to think about who he would draft at #48 until he was on the clock, started running around, waving his arms, squealing "what do we doooo??? quick, draft a safety, ANY safety!!!"

    ;)
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OMG, it's like you were actually in the Pats' war room. I can see it happening now - especially the the squealing part. Michael Holley never gave us details like that - scrap your book, this story clearly takes precedence.
  13. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    I am SURE that is exactly the way it happened:rolleyes:

    What probably happened is that they had Wilson tabbed as a 3'd or 4'th round pick and tried to trade down from 48 to get a third or fourth but could not find partners. They were worried that they would have no picks after the second round and pulled the trigger on a guy they had fell in love with even if it was too early for him.

    Then they got raped Green Bay trade yet a few picks later Cleveland traded up with Denver giving up a third and fourth. :mad:

    Green Bay must have seen that the Patriots were desperate because the had no more picks and the took advantage of BB. You can be sure that BB will never put himself in this position again; he will always reserve a few late round picks for playing (Rugby anyone?) around with.


    Hey is not like this is the first time they have screwed up the second round...
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Aw, come on, it's more fun with all the squealing! :p

    Honestly, I do think that the lack of later picks tied their hands a little bit. But a 6th or 7th wouldn't have made much difference to their options at #48, so the only alternative would have been to NOT trade away the mid-rounders in the 1st -- which were moves fans absolutely loved.

    IOW, every choice has consequences, and they decided that the chance to get both Jones and Hightower was worth hemming themselves in some on day 2. As for "panic"...nah. (*Squeal!*)
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    For my next act, I will present an interpretive dance rendition of the Cowboys' war room in 2010, when Jerry Jones realized he had a chance at -- *gasp* -- Dez Bryant. Not suitable for audiences under 18.
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nor for audiences 18 or over, either.
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    I'm not buying the Bill Couldn't Find a Trade Partner excuse.
    GB traded into 51 w/ Philly for 59 & 123, and Denver traded into 67 w/ Cleveland for 87 & 120.
    I feel pretty confident in stating that both GB & Denver, with each of whom Bill had done business
    during the weekend, would have accepted 48 & 62 in place of 51 & 67 respectively.

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Bill was locked into Wilson at 48 once the other DBs -
    Claiborne, Barron, Gilmore, Kirkpatrick, Smith & Jenkins - were all taken, and that he neither
    made nor accepted calls for that pick at all.
  18. TealSox

    TealSox Guest

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    Regarding the critique as a blitzer, I saw that too in what tape there was on the web. Wasn't sure if it was result of limited tape of Tavon or if he was actually an above average rusher from the safety position.

    I must be in the minority that aren't critical of the Pats taking him in the second round. There are a lot of high hopes that he is everything the Pats think he is and more than the media gave him credit for.
  19. Off The Grid

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    #3 Jersey

    Hah!! [​IMG]
  20. Ivan

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    #75 Jersey

    Basically this is a safety project with some experience in the role. Wilson has the size to play safety (6'0-205 range) and CB speed and cover abilities, and his lack of time at safety in college is the reason he went overlooked. The Patriots view would apparently be that had he been there for a couple of seasons he would have gone much higher. Whether they are right or not remains to be determined but they sure as hell deserve the benefit of the doubt.
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