Safety & Patriots draft

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
5:00
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We continue our position-by-position look at the Patriots as they head into the draft with an examination of the safeties.

Current personnel: Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Malcolm Williams

Need level: Low

Overview: The feeling here prior to the Adrian Wilson signing was that safety wasn't a major need for the Patriots, as McCourty would be paired with either Gregory or Tavon Wilson as the starter in base packages. But with Adrian Wilson on board, the Patriots have good depth and a veteran presence that has been lacking in recent seasons. Tavon Wilson played well to start the 2012 season, but his regression in the second half ended up with him playing primarily as a nickel or dime safety. With a full offseason this year, he should have the opportunity to further familiarize himself with the defensive playbook and earn back the trust of the coaching staff. The elder Wilson's role is yet to be determined, but the element of toughness he adds is something to keep an eye on.

Scouts Inc.'s safety prospects of note:

1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas. 6-0, 214 pounds. 2012 stats: 91 tackles, 2 interceptions.
2. Matt Elam, Florida. 5-10, 208 pounds. 2012 stats: 76 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 sacks.
3. D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina. 5-11, 208 pounds. 2012 stats: 79 tackles, 2 interceptions.
4. John Cyprien, Florida International. 6-0, 217 pounds. 2012 stats: 93 tackles, 4 interceptions.
5. Eric Reid, LSU. 6-1, 213 pounds. 2012 stats: 91 tackles, 2 interceptions.

For additional information on these prospects and more, CLICK HERE to check out Scouts Inc.'s player database (Insider content).
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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