- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bill Belichick went off the draft radar with the selection of Illinois defensive back Tavon Wilson in the second round (48th overall).
This brings back memories of the team's selection of offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer in the 2009 second round, as Vollmer was also off the radar. Like Vollmer, who was a 2010 second-team All-Pro, Wilson did not get an invite to the Combine.
The 6-foot, 203-pound Wilson could be viewed as a corner or safety based on his versatility. If he is viewed through the lens of the safety position, he represents the third safety selected in this year's draft. Word among analysts entering the draft was that after top options Mark Barron and Harrison Smith at safety, there was a big drop-off.
The scouting report on Wilson, who ESPN's Scouts Inc. did not project to be drafted, is that he's durable and versatile (safety and cornerback) and has a background on special teams. Those are characteristics that are sure to appeal to the Patriots.
At Illinois, Wilson replaced cornerback Vontae Davis when Davis was selected in the first round of the 2009 draft.
Media analysts are likely to call this pick a reach. It's a pick that reflects how the Patriots don't view things through the same lens as media analysts.
At this point, Wilson could factor in the cornerback or safety mix, so it would be dangerous to read too much into what his presence could mean for those already on the roster.