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Getting to know new Patriot Tavon Wilson

Curtis Drake, Tavon Wilson AP

If your reaction when the Patriots took Illinois cornerback Tavon Wilson with the 48th overall pick in the NFL draft was something along the lines of, “Who’s that?” then you’re not alone. Wilson was a big surprise as a second-round draft pick, a player who wasn’t even invited to the Scouting Combine or any of the postseason all-star games. But there are reasons to think Patriots fans will like Wilson when they get to know him.

For starters, there’s the word of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who says he doesn’t put a whole lot of stock into who goes to the Combine or the all-star games but does put plenty of stock into what he saw on tape when he watched Wilson, a three-year starter at Illinois.

“Some guys play in all-star games, some guys don’t. I don’t know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I don’t know who picks the Combine, for that matter,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “We can’t really worry about that. We just have to try to evaluate them the best we can.”

There are also plenty of reasons to like Wilson off the field: Ron Borges of the Boston Herald has a good story today about the way Wilson overcame a tough upbringing. His father was murdered when he was 1 and his mother drowned when he was 12,

“It was rough, man,” Wilson said. “My hat goes off to my grandmother because she’s a strong woman to take me and my sister in. Just raise us the best she can to try and give us everything she possibly could. Everybody has to overcome adversity. I overcame a lot of things in my life. That’s the reason I’m here today and the reason why I’m the person I am today. I just keep working all the time.”

Wilson’s family also includes another extraordinary woman, his great-great grandmother, Eddye Williams. Three years ago a story about Wilson mentioned that his 109-year-old great-great grandmother lived in a house is filled with pictures of Tavon, and two years ago the Washington Post marked Williams’ 110th birthday with a story saying she was the oldest resident of the nation’s capital. Her tips for living a long life are: “Love everybody. Don’t hate. Don’t gossip. Take care of your own business. And take care of your body.”

The Patriots confirmed today that Williams, who was born when William McKinley was president and Queen Victoria reigned in England, is still alive at age 112. The game of football that her great-great grandson plays is a bit different than the game when she was born in 1900: A touchdown was worth five points and so was a field goal, forward passes were illegal and Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski had not yet been born. Here’s hoping she watches her great-great grandson playing for the Patriots for years to come.

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31 Responses to “Getting to know new Patriot Tavon Wilson”
  1. carmelaanthonysoprano says: Apr 28, 2012 3:11 PM

    Well, I suppose that’s all good, but after reading this article I feel like I know more about his grandmother than his play.

    God knows that old grandmas= rings.

  2. beauregard says: Apr 28, 2012 3:16 PM

    Well, if Bill Belichick doesn’t know the process of who gets invited to the combines I don’t know who exactly does. NFL head coaches don’t know??
    At any rate I like Belichick’s attitude and courage to step outside the accepted system. It seems to be working.

  3. profootballwalk says: Apr 28, 2012 3:23 PM

    “Her tips for living a long life are: “Love everybody. Don’t hate. Don’t gossip.”

    Obviously she doesn’t belong here.

  4. blacknole08 says: Apr 28, 2012 3:24 PM

    Good Article.

    Humble beginnings. Humble person.

  5. nje22 says: Apr 28, 2012 3:25 PM

    In Bill we trust

  6. kolbe213 says: Apr 28, 2012 3:28 PM

    Belichick’s point is that whoever does the “inviting” for the combine and games doesn’t work for the Pats and certainly doesn’t care who the Pats draft. And that the “invitees” aren’t the only players that the teams have to choose from.

  7. ampats says: Apr 28, 2012 3:29 PM

    How many people knew who Sebastian Vollmer was when he was drafted in the second round? Seabass also wasn’t invited to the combine.

    I think that turned out pretty good? I have a feeling everyone will know who Tavon Wilson is a few years from now.

  8. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 3:40 PM

    Oh wow you’re right.

    dead parents + old grandmother + not good enough for combine invite = championship

    Horrible pick. Won’t be in the league in 2 years. In Bill we trust… to waste draft picks on crap. Again. Maybe he can cover Chad Jackson in the IFL.

    Terrence Wheatley 2.0

  9. stavreafavre says: Apr 28, 2012 3:49 PM

    Good luck to a good kid.

  10. dolphan22 says: Apr 28, 2012 4:02 PM

    Mmmmm….get the back story on the pats unknown second rounder and bash dolphins at every turn? Pats fan? I’m sure its an afc east team though hugh

  11. rushmatic says: Apr 28, 2012 4:04 PM

    usmarine75 says:

    Oh wow you’re right.

    dead parents + old grandmother + not good enough for combine invite = championship

    Horrible pick. Won’t be in the league in 2 years. In Bill we trust… to waste draft picks on crap. Again. Maybe he can cover Chad Jackson in the IFL.

    Terrence Wheatley 2.0

    ____________________

    It’s a good thing for the rest of us that you are not and will never be in a position to make decisions in the NFL, let alone the Patriots.

    I’m thankful.

  12. kacapaco says: Apr 28, 2012 4:17 PM

    Not sure if the kid is worth the pick, but BB has a point to stress the ‘all star’ & ‘combine’ as helpers not determinants.

  13. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 4:18 PM

    rushmatic/e-toughguy,

    No, I just actually watch the games instead of reading articles and watching the combine like you. No one in their right mind drafts Terrence Wheatley in the 2nd rd.

    Bill Belichick the GM is killng Bill Belichick the coach. The reason they haven’t won anything is that he is a terrible evaluator of talent. He is a genius coach that can get the most out of what he is given, but he gives himself crap to work with. He had his first good draft last year since Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli left years ago. How many drafts that produce 0 or 1 player do you need? Google his draft record.

    I’ll bet you love him trading back every year too.

  14. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 5:03 PM

    In Bill We Trust strikes again… thank god he traded back twice to snatch CB Nate Ebner!!!

    Championship.

    Could have had a #2 WR in Streeter or McNutt… but good call with Ebner. They scored another special teams guy by trading back.

    Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner will not be on Patriots or in the NFL in 2 years. Book it.

  15. drewzducks says: Apr 28, 2012 5:06 PM

    usamarine75

    First let me thank you for your service. Secondly, you state that last year was his first good draft with Solder, an injured Dowling and Vereen and a productive Ridley. They also got value in Mallett and the OL Cannon. I’d say it was an ok draft but 2 years ago he hit a homerun with Spikes, McCourty and two of the five best TEs in the game with Gronk and Hernandez. Also Deaderick and even Mesko all from 2010. No doubt he’s bombed on some of his corners and Chad/Maroney but they all do.

  16. olcap says: Apr 28, 2012 5:07 PM

    beauregard says:
    Apr 28, 2012 3:16 PM

    At any rate I like Belichick’s attitude and courage to step outside the accepted system. It seems to be working.
    ——————-

    It does? Got any evidence for that statement? When was the last SB championship?

  17. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 5:15 PM

    Oh never mind Ebner is a walk on rugby player who played little or no football. Fantastic. Much better than Streeter, a 6’5 4.3 WR that could have stretched the defense and made room for everyone underneath. Enjoy 16 games of cover-0 next year and an early playoff out when you can’t beat any elite defenses.

    The Patriots are the old Colts. Built to put up gaudy numbers during the regular season and nothing in the post season.

  18. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 5:24 PM

    Thanks Drew!!!

    I do love a lot of his picks especially last year. I lived in AZ and I LOVED the Gronk pick. I have 0 complaints about last year. Hernandez was a steal! And I loved Canon and I’m hoping he makes his want to being the starting RG. But, you have to admit he has made some horrific picks especially from 2005-2009. 2007 was a blank. They can’t scout DBs and their position coach is from the SD School of Mining. Enough said. <– Reason why McCourty is going backwards in production.

  19. insider7 says: Apr 28, 2012 5:38 PM

    Enjoy your retirement soldier boy. Let’s wait and see how these draftees play before making absolutist pronoucements.

  20. threegriffons says: Apr 28, 2012 5:44 PM

    So some of you guys come on here just to bash the Pats picks?
    Shouldn’t you be more interest in what your team is doing?

    Because if you happened to miss the past ten years or so, we’ve doing ok.
    2002-2011 = 123-37-0

  21. jtchernak says: Apr 28, 2012 5:55 PM

    Anybody that says oh this is a terrible pick no talent is a moron bellicheck drafts for players to it his SYSTEM not for yours or kipers system

  22. 6ball says: Apr 28, 2012 5:59 PM

    .

    @marine 75

    Re: Terrence Wheatley et al.

    Every GM has picks that don’t pan out. Jerry Reese, Ted Thompson, Kevin Colbert and Ozzie Newsombe are all outstanding personnel guys, but they don’t bat one thousand in the draft.

    @ oldcap

    ” when’s their last sb victory”

    I see you’ve found the last refuge of Jets and Browns fans. Sorry, Charlie ,it’s near impossible to win the super bowl every year because some of the other clubs like this years Giants have quality players,coached by a quality staff too.

    It’s true that the final game for the patriots, 49ers, texans, ravens, and packers was disappointing. However, these clubs had a lot of success and provided a lot of entertainment to their fans throughout the season.

    Your vision of the NFL is one winner and 31 losers. I disagree.

    I tip my cap to the NYG, but also to the pack, 49ers, pats, texans and ravens. It’s not easy to get deep into the NFL playoffs and all these teams appear poised for an encore.

    .

  23. CKL says: Apr 28, 2012 6:02 PM

    olcap says: Apr 28, 2012 5:07 PM

    beauregard says:
    Apr 28, 2012 3:16 PM

    At any rate I like Belichick’s attitude and courage to step outside the accepted system. It seems to be working.
    ——————-

    It does? Got any evidence for that statement? When was the last SB championship?
    _____________________________
    I’m guessing it’s more recent than your team’s judging by your comment. And if your team has a ring since the 05 season, why make that comment at all? Too funny. Maybe just MAYBE that poster’s idea of “working” is making sure the team is in the SB MIX every year with a chance to win it. And there’s no denying that almost every year that is the case.

    I don’t think eveything BB does is always perfect or always wrong…but he’s more successful than not.

  24. omniscient48 says: Apr 28, 2012 6:27 PM

    Tavon + Belichick = HOODIE?

  25. usmarine75 says: Apr 28, 2012 6:58 PM

    Love the Ebert pick though!!!!

  26. tedmurph says: Apr 28, 2012 7:20 PM

    @usmarine: They drafted Jeremy Ebert, not Ebner. He’s a slot receiver and former QB, just like McNutt. These picks aren’t gonna make this talent laden, perennial SB contending team anyway. Thanks for all the film work and your attempt to dazzle us with your FB acumen.

  27. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 28, 2012 7:48 PM

    “Don’t hate, don’t gossip. Take care of your own business…”. At that rate none of the PFT staff will make it to the end of the year.

  28. hedleykow says: Apr 28, 2012 9:21 PM

    You always give Bill B. the benefit of the doubt. Unless you are just plain dumb.

  29. castleanthrax says: Apr 29, 2012 8:50 AM

    No one heard of another Illini DB the Pats took several years back…anyone guess who that was?

    Asante Samuel came out of nowhere as well.

    Apparently Usmarine is so insightful that he watched Illini games to tell us that this pick was garbage. Other than Illini fans who really watches that program?

    I can’t even tell you about Jones as I don’t watch Big East play. Some of you either have no lives to claim you watch EVERY college game EVERY week or you’re just plain full of $#!T.

    No one really knows how this pick or any of the picks will truly turn out, no one.

    And olcap, really? 5 SB in 10 years is a pretty damn good run while winning three of those.

  30. rushmatic says: Apr 29, 2012 12:13 PM

    usmarine75 says:
    rushmatic/e-toughguy,

    No, I just actually watch the games instead of reading articles and watching the combine like you. No one in their right mind drafts Terrence Wheatley in the 2nd rd.

    Bill Belichick the GM is killng Bill Belichick the coach. The reason they haven’t won anything is that he is a terrible evaluator of talent. He is a genius coach that can get the most out of what he is given, but he gives himself crap to work with. He had his first good draft last year since Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli left years ago. How many drafts that produce 0 or 1 player do you need? Google his draft record.

    I’ll bet you love him trading back every year too.

    __________________

    As with any draft on ANY team, he’s made good picks and bad picks. I’d say his W/L and rings speak enough to my answer on whether I like him trading back every year or not.

    You sound like just another “fan” who thinks they understand what’s going on better than Belichick himself. Wheatley being your one example in all his years of success makes YOU the idiot.

  31. rc33 says: Apr 30, 2012 11:48 AM

    They ended up w/ Shane Vereen and Chandler Jones in exchange for trading down (28th pick Mark Ingram) w/ New Orleans last season.
    Pats fans will take that.

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