The Patriots were a quagmire at safety last season, turning once again to defensive back Devin McCourty to help shore up the woeful play in the position group. But his change of position, which can be categorized as all but permanent, did anything but settle the issue. The Patriots needed a talent upgrade so they signed Adrian Wilson. The 13-year veteran is expected to compete for the starting strong safety position opposite McCourty.
Going up against Adrian Wilson will be second-year pro Tavon Wilson (41 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 4 interceptions), who contributed to the Patriots in mostly dime packages last season but struggled. And then there’s the matter of Steve Gregory, who returns after a tough season playing out of position, much closer to the line than his physique suggests is doable. (He’s listed at 5-11 and 200 pounds, but he’s much closer to 5-9 and 190.)
Between the three, there’s the matter of who plays as the team’s starter, and who works in the team’s money position (dime defensive back). The preference is for a larger player to work as the money, with Tavon Wilson splitting time with Ras-I Dowling last season.
Gregory may be seen as McCourty’s primary backup going forward with the two Wilsons duking it out for each position, veteran vs. upstart.
Rookies Duron Harmon and Kanorris Davis can get in the mix here too.