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Time to see what Tavon can do

TAMPA -- As usual, there will be plenty to digest when the Patriots visit the Buccaneers tonight in the third preseason game for both teams.

One item at the top of this reporter's list: Let's see what rookie safety Tavon Wilson can do.

The highly scrutinized second-round draft choice is projected to start in place of injured Patrick Chung (shoulder), and assuming there have been no setbacks with the injured left ankle/foot which sidelined him in Monday's preseason game against the Eagles, he should play a lot (veteran safety Will Allen is also expected to be sidelined).

The Patriots turned heads when they selected Wilson with the 48th overall pick. As much excitement as there was with the trade-ups in the first round for defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, many in the fan base were scratching their heads with the Wilson pick because he was hardly on the radar of draft analysts (link here).

In the preseason opener against the Saints, Wilson played the "money" role (weakside linebacker) in the dime package in the first half and later entered in the base defense for a total of 14 first-half snaps.

He then saw extended action in the second half against second- and third-stringers.

The workload and level of competition should increase tonight for the 6-foot-0, 210-pound Wilson, a player whom defensive backs coach Josh Boyer complimented as someone who doesn't often make the same mistake twice.