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Tavon Wilson is not afraid to step up when the ball is closing in.
New England's second-round selection was a real head-scratcher. When Patriot legend Troy Brown announced the name "Tavon Wilson" at the Radio City Music Hall, many responded with "Who?"
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss explained Wilson's pre-draft value in an article published on April 28:
The 22-year-old Wilson was rated as the 24th safety by ESPN's Scouts Inc., considered more of a free agent than a draft pick. He wasn't mentioned in the 2012 Pro Football Weekly draft preview. USA Today's NFL draft preview overlooked him. So did Lindy's Pro Football Draft magazine.
Sometimes scouting reports don't do a player justice. After all, the Illinois defensive back has played like a second-round talent, notching 28 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Wilson was thrust into the starting rotation after injuries kept safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory out of action. Although, the former special teams gunner and cornerback may not be ready for full-time duties just yet, as he has given up some big pass plays.
The unheralded DB is loaded with potential and has room to grow in the New England secondary. But the bottom line is that the Patriots could have probably called his name in Round 6 and no one would have blinked.
Instead, the Patriots selected another mystery at pick No. 197: Nate Ebner.
Ebner, a special teams defensive back, flew in under the radar. Per the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises, Ebner said the following prior to the draft:
"Did I think I'd be in a position to get drafted?" Ebner said. "No way. But to possibly play on a pro team? I'd like to say that was always maybe the goal, but I didn't know how realistic it was until this past year."