Mock thoughts: Double dip on D

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
11:55
AM ET
Rob Rang of CBSSports.com puts together his post-combine mock draft, and he envisions a scenario in which the Patriots use two picks on two front-seven defenders.

At No. 27, Rang slots Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox to New England.
"Cox will appeal to Bill Belichick for various reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the 6-4, 295-pound junior is just scratching the surface of his potential," Rang writes. "And make no mistake, the potential is there for Cox to be a star. The Bulldog defensive tackle earned the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week four times this season and is highly regarded by scouts because of his size, strength and ability to play inside or out in multiple fronts. That type of versatility will also certainly intrigue Belichick."

At No. 31, Rang stays on defense with USC's Nick Perry.
"Some teams are hesitant to grade Perry as a first-round prospect due to the fact that he elected to leave USC after just one highly productive season," Rang writes. "He led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks in a breakout junior campaign. There are scouts who do believe he's just scratching the surface of his potential and others who like him best as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker in the 3-4. For Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Perry would likely be asked to play both positions."


QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: Both players made an impression at the combine through a combination of their interviews and workouts. Perry tested very well, while saying he prefers end in a 4-3 scheme. His height (6-foot-2) might be a concern from a Patriots perspective, but his vertical jump was 38.5. Cox also tested very well (4.79 in the 40). He has solid size with what looks like room to grow.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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