Tavon Wilson has been hard at work competing for playing time in the 49ers' secondary so far in training camp, and his dedication has stood out to his new defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans.
"I mean, the guy that sticks out to me on our defense right now is Tavon, Tavon Wilson," Ryans told reporters Wednesday. "We talked about him earlier, but Tavon has really been, you know, surprising from the standpoint of just his leadership, his communication, his focus, and his consistent approach daily.”
Wilson joined the 49ers this offseason after playing 15 games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. Mostly serving as a reserve defensive back, Wilson registered a 63.6 Pro Football Focus grade for the Colts, one of the NFL's top defensive units a season ago.
After Jaquiski Tartt was sidelined due to league health and safety protocols, Wilson has been logging first-team reps at safety over the past week.
Ryans declined to answer whether there could be a competition for the starting role when Tartt comes back given Wilson's performance, but potentially having two starting-caliber players at a critical position is more than a good problem to have for the 49ers.
Tartt has missed at least one game in each of his six NFL seasons, so Wilson providing some depth is vital for the secondary as the league prepares for its longest-ever regular season.
If the 49ers' pass rush can recapture its 2019 dominance, every player in that defensive backfield should have the chance to create some turnovers and make big plays in 2021.