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2013 Patriots Mock Off-Season with 32 Mock Draft
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mcmurtry86


Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 24316
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
I say give the guy another chance at safety in 2013 before looking into alternative uses like nickle safety and fourth string backup. Laughing


By giving another chance, you mean give him a starting job until he proves he can't handle it?

Is the alternative Nate Ebner?
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BP


Joined: 14 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Gregory, presumably
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mcmurtry86


Joined: 02 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
Steve Gregory, presumably


Ok, but a Gregory/Reed (in your scenario) combination is as bad or (IMO) worse than what they had last year.

It seems to me that any attempt to upgrade the safety spot means less Gregory and keeping McCourty at FS. Anything else is going to probably result in a downgrade. Maybe an Ed Reed/Matt Elam (or other 1st rounder) combo could be better but McCourty was so good at FS that it will be tough to improve with him going back to CB.

Gregory and Wilson are pretty much the same in my eyes. Probably decent enough to handle a #3 spot - especially given the awful safety talent league-wide - but neither guy should be a starter on a good team.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proved to me last year that he's a versatile football player who's usually in the right position he's supposed to be in and he fits into a more of a hybrid strong safety role. Given that last year was his rookie season, I'm more than willing to see what he does in his sophomore campaign at the same spot. Especially considering the distinct possibility of an all-time great like Ed Reed joining the secondary. Reed won't lose his ability to direct others around and sniff out plays with his instincts. I feel Wilson could really benefit from Reed being around to help him pick up things. Reed might be able to help Wilson overcome some of his faults and at least for next season mask some of the deficiencies in his game every now and then. If Wilson then isn't able to develop into a better player for the Patriots, then I expect last years starter, Steven Gregory, to be put back in Wilson's place and start for the team again. That would be pretty disappointing as a fan though if that's what the secondary comes to. Even then, I think the Pats could be a championship caliber team.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gregory can't rove at the line of scrimmage effectively unless he's blitzing or he's disguising a look of the defense and then drops off into coverage. He's a lot weaker of a tackler than Tavon Wilson who can actually stand at the linebacker spot as one of those hybrid safety/linebacker types. Wilson is sufficiently bulkier in a good way. His weight distribution appears to be so that he can handle the blows of bigger players charging at him than Gregory. What I'm trying to say is that Gregory is a much bigger liability against the run and in that "hybrid" role than Wilson, which if Wilson can't compete there at a position Belichick seems invested in creating for him, then the drop-off to Steve Gregory is much more substantial than one might think.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Devin McCourty, I think that's a tough decision to make. McCourty clearly, to me at least, still has a bright future at corner in the NFL. I don't know if it would be the wisest choice to transition McCourty from fulltime corner to free safety this year. I think McCourty could be successful at either spot in all honesty, but with all of the depth and uncertainty issues of the cornerbacks the Pats currently have, I think McCourty would be more useful at corner because essentially he is needed there more.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
Proved to me last year that he's a versatile football player who's usually in the right position he's supposed to be in


When did he show this? (Assuming you're talking about Wilson?)
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Early on in the season against the Cardinals I thought he had a good game. I think obviously you can point to a lot of rookie mistakes that he made where he wasn't in the right spot, but I'm trying to characterize Wilson's game as position-based-dependent, meaning he is successful when he is successful because of his understanding of being where he should be on a given play. I think you can take his numbers of multiple pass deflections and 4 interceptions, a couple of fumble plays and draw from that Tavon Wilson was a rookie who took advantage of some of his time played by being in the right spot at the right time. That's what I saw anyways. I'm definitely making it a point to watch back some of his games last year.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
Early on in the season against the Cardinals I thought he had a good game. I think obviously you can point to a lot of rookie mistakes that he made where he wasn't in the right spot, but I'm trying to characterize Wilson's game as position-based-dependent, meaning he is successful when he is successful because of his understanding of being where he should be on a given play. I think you can take his numbers of multiple pass deflections and 4 interceptions, a couple of fumble plays and draw from that Tavon Wilson was a rookie who took advantage of some of his time played by being in the right spot at the right time. That's what I saw anyways. I'm definitely making it a point to watch back some of his games last year.


At least 2 of his INT's had nothing to do with skill or talent and were totally braindead plays by the opposing QB.

I would think that if he were as solid as you suggest, he would have earned more - not less - playing time as the season wore on. Instead, he saw a tiny amount of playing time and was stuck behind Gregory and Chung - two guys who were pretty bad a lot of the time.

It's hard to tell, because he had so few snaps down the stretch, but he didn't look like a guy who improved much and he was pretty unimpressive early on when he was receiving snaps.

IMO the only reason people thought he looked pretty good early on were the low expectations for him and the position in general (given the awful safety play of 2011). He was a liability in deep coverage and his instincts seem to be mediocre. As we saw from James Sanders, having no real strengths isn't a recipe for success even if you aren't really bad at anything.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tavon Wilson > James Sanders > Steve Gregory

Well to me at least

Wilson's toughness might be the one fundamental trait that you're underselling here. I think his ability to stick his nose in there is a far cry from the somewhat similar (ability-wise) Sanders or Gregory. Perhaps Wilson's perceived knack merely comes from his positional versatility. Nonetheless, I like Wilson in 2013. Beyond that I project there being at least one safety prospect who comes in and takes the starting job within a couple seasons of joining the ball club.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
Tavon Wilson > James Sanders


James Sanders 2006-2009 was definitely better than Wilson was last year. He had his bad moments (as do most safeties) but he was steady, had solid fundamentals and rarely got himself out of position.

You're really overrating Wilson if you think that his 2012 season was better than anything other than Sanders at his absolute worst.

As for Gregory, if Wilson was truly better than him, why did Belichick stick with both Gregory and Chung over Wilson?

I'm not saying the guy is horrible and doesn't deserve a shot to prove himself and improve, but to say he has shown anything to warrant a starting spot at this point is a stretch. He was the worst of 3 pretty bad safeties (Chung, Gregory) and I don't think he showed enough in pass defense to feel confident about him in 2013.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Wilson's rookie season was better than those starter seasons for James Sanders just that I think in 2013 and moving forward Tavon Wilson will prove he is a superior safety to the two others mentioned. I think there are a bunch of factors as to why Wilson didn't finish the season as a starter and Chung earned more playing time back and Gregory took over. Maybe the Pats didn't want to put too much on Wilson's plate in his first pro season. Gregory was in his first year with the team off of a free agent contract so he had more to offer with a lot of NFL experience already to his credit. Chung started off the 2012 season injured pretty early on I believe. I think he could have also just lost a half-step in that time and clearly by the end of the season when Chung was a healthy scratch for one game he was in the dog house for some unbeknownst reason to the public. I think you could speculate many different ways why Wilson's rookie year didn't pan out as smoothly as one would have liked. However that's not to say he didn't have a fair share of good moments and isn't going to continue this offseason to develop by building off of those bright moments. That is all.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tavon Wilson isn't a deep zone coverage safety, he's in his element between the LOS, at linebacker, or at corner in obvious running situations where the only threat to the coverage would be some sort of curious pass play that is fairly quick developing and where the hot receiver must create separation no more than 10-15 yards downfield, which is about Wilson's threshold for covering a guy one-on-one based on his Illinois game tape. Tavon Wilson is almost strictly a man-coverage guy within 20 yards of the LOS in the NFL.
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BP


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most intriguing summer battle throughout training camp for all Pats fans alike:

Jeff Demps versus Julian Edelman, competing for returner duties and gadget play rights as well as special teams coverage units.

Malcolm Williams versus Tavon Wilson, competing for snaps as the man-coverage linebacker/safety guy as well as special teams coverage units.

Definitely what I'll be looking forward to watching for at training camp.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP wrote:
Tavon Wilson isn't a deep zone coverage safety, he's in his element between the LOS, at linebacker, or at corner in obvious running situations where the only threat to the coverage would be some sort of curious pass play that is fairly quick developing and where the hot receiver must create separation no more than 10-15 yards downfield, which is about Wilson's threshold for covering a guy one-on-one based on his Illinois game tape. Tavon Wilson is almost strictly a man-coverage guy within 20 yards of the LOS in the NFL.


In other words, he's a situational #3 safety.

The Pats use their safeties (both of them) too frequently deep and out of what you term "his element" (i.e. away from the LOS) that he will never be a quality starter without improving his pass defense skills.

A big nickel role might be his ideal spot
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